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Los Vaqueros to offer 1983 prices to celebrate 30 years in business

Posted 5:04pm on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013

The extended Cisneros family is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Los Vaqueros restaurant concept by charging 1983 prices on a daily lunch and dinner special Aug. 19-22.

And beer? Try a nickel or dime draft special each day.

The popular Stockyards eatery was actually not the clan’s first venture. Johnny Jr. and Kiki Cisneros had opened Mi Casa in 1978, but closed it in the early 2000s.

The local chain now has three Los Vaqueros locations, including one on 3105 Cockrell Ave. at West Berry Street in the former Gunsmoke steakhouse spot, not far from an earlier, unsuccessful try in the TCU area. Its third location is inside Weatherford’s Valley Golf Club. All will be carrying the 1983-priced specials, says Vicki Cisneros.

A $2.75 lunch special could be chicken enchilada, rice and a cup of queso. Others will cost $3 and $3.25. And they’re bringing back an old standby called the “Lady Special” — guacamole tostada, rice and a regular tostado.

On Aug. 23, there will be live entertainment at lunch and from 5 to 7 p.m. along with free appetizers at the three locations. At the Stockyards flagship’s garden, this will become a Friday night fixture.

The 2629 N. Main St. building has had an adventurous varied life, starting out as a small packing house, then becoming a Chinese laundry, morphing into a sale barn for Tennessee Walking Horses, a veterinarian supply house and a refrigeration firm before falling vacant for a decade and being reborn as Los Vaqueros, Cisneros told us.

Aside from the family recipes, she attributes some of the local chain’s staying power to the fact that it doesn’t skimp on quality, chopping its own vegetables in house (never factory processed) and using only aged Wisconsin cheddar (“It melts better”), despite some in the family once advocating cheaper California cheese.

And the Cisneroses are not standing still. Though tight-lipped, Vicki Cisneros did let slip they are developing a “Mexican fusion” concept for college and beach communities in Texas.

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718 Twitter: @bshlachter

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