Mi Pueblito Restaurant

Owner Oscar Velasquez (right) on the bakery side of Mi Pueblito Restaurant with General Manager Miguel Atencio. Velasquez owns the establishment with his brother and sister.

Owner Oscar Velasquez (right) on the bakery side of Mi Pueblito Restaurant with General Manager Miguel Atencio. Velasquez owns the establishment with his brother and sister.

For the Velasquez siblings, the restaurant business has always been a family affair.


According to Oscar Velasquez—who owns Mi Pueblito Restaurant in Katy with his brother, Mario, and his sister, Sara—the three grew up in Ibague, Colombia, helping their parents in various restaurant ventures.


“I used to work with my parents,” he said. “They [taught] me a lot about food.”


After moving to Texas in 2000, Velasquez said he saw an opportunity to bring Colombian authenticity and his family’s expertise in the industry to the Greater Houston area. They opened their first Mi Pueblito Restaurant on Richmond Avenue in Houston that same year, and the establishment’s success birthed the Katy location two years ago.


Velasquez said Katy was a logical choice for expansion.


“This particular area is growing; all around there are constructions,” he said.


Velasquez said authenticity and tradition can be seen in the business’s concept. The menu mainly consists of recipes belonging to his grandmother, mother and aunt, and the name Mi Pueblito—which means “my little town” in Spanish—is intended to foster a sense of community among the growing Latin American population in the Greater Houston area, he said.


“Our target is [the] Latin community and American community [members] that [would] be interested in having a Colombian experience in [the] U.S.,” Velasquez said. “We [are] trying to share with our customers the experience to learn something about Colombia: the food, the ambience, the music [and] the people.”


In addition to a dining area, Mi Pueblito contains a full bar and a bakery. Velasquez said he believes this further solidifies his family’s intent to give the restaurant a community-oriented atmosphere and make it a one-stop shop that offers traditional items beyond just entrees.


Velasquez said the restaurant’s most popular non-entree items include sangria and ajiaco Bogotano. The establishment makes its sangria with brandy, merlot, grenadine, orange juice, lime juice, pineapple juice and fruit chunks. Ajiaco Bogotano is a soup consisting of three different types of potatoes and shredded chicken that is served with capers, rice and avocado.


Mi Pueblito serves three meals each day and also hosts a daily happy hour on weekdays. It also offers catering and takeout services and has a private room for parties and special events. Velasquez said he and his siblings are interested in growing the business beyond the two locations. Future plans may include opening additional restaurants or pursuing franchising opportunities, he said.


“In the future, we are planning to open a couple more restaurants in some part of [Houston],” Velasquez said. “Maybe franchise to [other] cities or [other] states.”


402 W. Grand Parkway S., Ste. 102, Katy
281-665-8690
www.mipueblitohouston.com
Hours: Mon.-Wed. 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Thu. 9 a.m.- 10 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-9 p.m.