That's because just a few months after Laredo's shuttered in 2005, Cantina Laredo opened in the Penn Square Mall space previously occupied by Garcia's and Kamber's before that.
While the name isn't exactly the same, Cantina Laredo does have corporate money and thinking behind it. It's an upscale concept owned by Consolidated Restaurant Operations, which also runs El Chico. Gonzalez said he was threatened with a lawsuit if he didn't change the name of his restaurant.
"We probably would've won in court, but it's cheaper for us to just change the name."
The new name, Casa De Los Milagros, not only is better but better suited for the space and backstory.
"It means house of miracles," Gonzalez said.
A walk through the enormous hacienda-style building shows it is an architectural wonder.
"Mexico is an enormous country," Gonzalez said. "I wanted this place to be like a walking tour of the different regions."
While construction mostly is finished, the signature patio is being tweaked before spring. The menu is the next major undertaking.
An already large menu with standard Okie-Mex offerings and a smattering of traditional Mexican dishes, such as mole and Caldo de Res, is due additional entrees from the interior of Mexico.
"We're working on Cochinita Pibil from the Yucatan and Camarones Diablo from the coast," Gonzalez said. "I want this place to not only tell a story with its interiors but also with what's on the plate."
With a more ambitious menu in the works, it'll be a miracle if it doesn't succeed.
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