Family ties help build new Mexican restaurant

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By Molly Haines

For Humberto and Amber Moran, opening a business in Owen County means staying close to family – including their church family at Beechwood Assembly of God.


Humberto, also known as Chino, and Amber have been living in Owen County for three years. He was doing construction work on power plants, but to continue the job he would have had to move to Alabama.


“We just didn’t want to leave our church family. They’ve been great for us,” Amber said.


When the couple made the decision to stay in Owen County, they knew they had to do something to pay the bills.


The couple expects to open a family-run business Friday, a first for them and likely the citizens of Owen County – Chino’s Mexican Restaurant will bring a mixture of Mexican and local flavors to the community.


“We’re going to have a big variety on the menu,” Amber said. “Hawaiian chicken and steak fajitas, chimichangas, enchiladas and taco salads. We’ve already had several people stop by and ask us about our menu. A lot of people seem to think everything will be really hot and spicy, but we’ll make it however they want it, spicy or mild. We’re going off of things we really like from other Mexican restaurants and our own family traditions.”


Amber said the restaurant will also accommodate the little ones who may be picky eaters.


“We’ll have stuff like hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches for kids who might not like this type of stuff,” Amber said.


The couple said they have not worked alone in their restaurant venture.


“We’ve only been working on this for a couple of weeks,” Amber said. “But we’ve had a lot of help and will have more. My two sisters, Chino’s sister and uncle, my mom and my two great-aunts will all have a part in this. It’s really going to be family run.”


Amber said the couple’s 17-month-old daughter, Alexis, will also be lending a hand.


“She’s the little boss,” Amber said.


The couple said they feel if they let God lead them, their venture into the restaurant business will turn out great.


“If we follow God we know we’ll be fine,” Amber said. “We’ve prayed about this a lot and we know if we have a good appearance and a good attitude we’ll do good. We just want to give a special thanks to God for all He has done for us. A big thank-you also goes out to Kim Smith. She has really been a big help.”


Amber’s mother – Charlotte Linville, who will work at the restaurant – agreed with her daughter.


“We’re putting it in His hands.”


The couple said they expect to open Friday and will be open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Chino’s Mexican Restaurant is located at 125 West Seminary St. For more information, call (502) 484-3353.