Pepe's Mexican Restaurant namesake passes away
Julian “Pepe” Gonzalez died on April 19, leaving behind a legacy that included 60 years in the restaurant business as a member of Oklahoma City’s first family of Mexican food.
Gonzalez owned Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant on April 23, 1982, then Laredo’s in 1986. Pepe’s has been in operation ever since; Laredo’s closed in 2005 after the property was sold to Chesapeake and reopened in 2009 as Casa de Los Milagros, which is operated by Julian Gonzalez Jr.
I fondly remember countless trips to Pepe’s on Wednesday evenings for the $3.99 cheese enchiladas with chili gravy when I was a starving college student at Oklahoma Christian.
Gonzalez’s wife of 51 years, Taide, is a member of the Alvarado family, which opened El Charro in the 1930s then opened the extraordinarily popular El Charrito chain. Pepe and his wife met when he took a job at El Charrito.
You can read an extensive obituary here, it’s worth the time. It paints a picture of an extraordinary life that won’t soon be forgotten.