“We opened this restaurant in September. I worked all of my life in kitchens in Reno and my dream was to have a restaurant of my own someday,” La Casita Owner Eligio Aguirre says.

Originally from Guatemala, Aguirre spent most of his life in Reno (26 years) and then went to Mina to work in the mines three years ago when he got laid off from his former job. While in the Mina area, Aguirre caught word that the previous owner wanted to sell the restaurant (formerly called Socorro’s Burger Hut) because she ran the food joint for twenty years and wanted to move to Texas. His friend who convinced Aguirre to move to Mina persuaded him to buy the business.

“I like working in the restaurant business a lot,” he says. It took Aguirre two months to get his food and alcohol license worked out, but now he’s been up and running for three months now.

“The biggest change is that I put Mexican food on the menu, but we still have American food, too. We kept the Casita burger, burgers, and tacos,” he says. When asked what the most popular items on the menu are, Aguirre believes it’s the carne Asada burritos and the Casita cheeseburger. However, he likes to cook everything.

“I like to cook Mexican food; I make my own recipe for al pastor pork, but I like to make everything,” he smiles. Along with being in the kitchen, Aguirre enjoys meeting new people, conversing with the locals, and meeting travelers and hearing their stories.

Aguirre says that a lot of people have been coming into La Casita since its opening and, “Everything is going great. Here (in Mina) it is very quiet, there’s nothing around,” he chuckles. “The people are very nice; I like it here a lot,” he adds.

La Casita is located at 710 Front Street in Mina and offers takeout and outdoor dining. La Casita is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (closed on Wednesdays) and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends.