At a press conference held on the premises Monday August 19, Cesar Rodriguez, owner of Doneraki's Mexican Restaurant received an award from the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce and announced plans for its celebration August 26.
Cesar explains the importance about the 40th anniversary celebration: “The restaurant was inaugurated on a 26th of August, the same date as my birthday and my daughter Alexandra’s birthday, so we’re celebrating three especial events the same day. Those are the main reasons why we have planned a big celebration.”
Doneraki's is probably Houston's best known Mexican restaurant. The story of Doneraki's and its owner, Cesar Rodriguez is an inspiring example of determination, courage, and faith in the face of adversity. According to a report by Mario Contreras of Informaitron, Cesar Rodriguez opened the original location on Fulton Street in the Northside when he was 23 years old using $600 of savings from three jobs and his first income tax return to rent a space for his restaurant. Rodriguez has been encouraged by family, friends former employers and landlords who deeply respected his commitment, work ethic, and respect for his community. At the same time, he has dealt with vandals, gangs, and robbers with patience and with tact and superb negotiating skills, he has turned thugs and enemies into friends and customers.
The original location on Fulton Street had to close when Metro Rail's expansion required removal of the building. Another location on Westheimer also closed when a lease expired. While operating there, Doneraki's had been the only restaurant on Westheimer to remain open on Christmas.
As Contreras reports "During 40 years of DONERAKI, there are interesting stories that are worth sharing. Cesar remembers some of his clients, “we’ve had recording artists, politicians, actors, and all kinds of famous
people come eat DONERAKI food. We have served senators, governors and even former US President
Jimmy Carter. We’ve served actors and actresses such as Burt Reynolds and Julia Roberts just to name a
few. Cesar’s restaurant was also frequented by popular Mexican recording artists Marco Antonio Solís,
Joan Sebástian, Rigo Tovar, Tejano music group La Mafia and the Mexican-American diva Selena."
The current location is at Gulfgate Plaza at 290 Woodridge Dr #300. It weathered the recent recession with marketing ideas from Caesar's daughter Alexandra. The tastefully decorated location has a welcoming atmosphere, charming staff, and fantastic food, and great entertainment.