That’s why the new co-owners and chefs of the Empresario Restaurant are sticking with the same family-style menu that has made the eatery one of the most popular in Goliad.
“We are going to go with the old menu,” Farshad Darshad said. “We’re going to serve the same recipes and the same specials.”
The Empresario re-opened in June by serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last week, the restaurant began serving dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 5 to 10 p.m. The restaurant has applied for a liquor license and should be serving alcoholic beverages next month.
The Empresario closed in August 2013 after owners Steve and Jill McKinney failed to sell the property.
Goliad couple John and Jill Kolb ate there frequently and was asked by the McKinneys if they would like to buy the restaurant.
“My answer was always and unequivocal ‘no,’ ” John Kolb said. “However, at some point she told me she was talking to Freydoun Darshad, a well-known restaurant operator in Victoria, about buying it. I knew Freydoun very well and told (Jill McKinney) I would make an offer for the restaurant if Freydoun would sign a long-term lease on the place. He agreed and the McKinneys accepted my offer.”
Kolb substituted Freydoun Darshad with his brothers, Faramarz and Farshad, as lessees. Farshad Darshad also is an experienced contractor and had a hand in most of the remodeling, including a new bar.
The restaurant spent approximately $75,000 to renovate the kitchen and is remodeling a back room for group events.
“It helps when you build a commercial kitchen that you’ve worked in a commercial kitchen, so you know what works and doesn’t work,” Farshad Darshad said. “There’s a flow in a commercial kitchen and in any kitchen. You have to follow that or else everybody runs into each other and it won’t be efficient.”
The brothers said they previously knew of the Empresario and were excited about the opportunity to own the eatery.
“We knew about the history of the restaurant and that’s why we came here,” Farshad Darshad said.