Our story begins in the mid 1980's, in California. A man named Gerardo Fernandez, came to the United States with the classic American dream. Gerardo lived and worked in California for a few years, then, came to Northern Indiana due to the booming Indiana economy.
Gerardo Eventually found his way to Elkhart IN, where he worked in a couple local restaurants and eventually began a family of his own. Gerardo later became interested in cooking and the respective art form. After a few years of hard work, some studying, and plenty of double shifts, He finally earned the title, "Chef". Little did Gerardo know, that would be just the begining of his love for food and cooking.
In the early 1990's, Gerardo and a cousin of his, opened the first Mexican-themed restaurant in Elkhart IN, called "Primos". The restaurant had instant, but short lived success. Primos was closed just a couple years after it opened its doors, but it wasn't too long before Gerardo would make a second attempt at making a successful restaurant.
in October of 1995 Gerardo opened an Italian-Mexican fusion restaurant in South Bend, IN called "Casa Roma". The restaurant, unfortunately, never found success, but Gerardo never gave up. He quickly, he decided to drop the Italian fusion and kept the Mexican. Renaming the restaurant, "La Esperanza".
La Esperanza has been a part of the South Bend community and somewhat of a pioneer, inspiring other local restaurantuers and entrepreneurs to open their own version of mexican cuisine. It's won countless number of local awards in service, food quality, and overall dining expieriences, and now it looks to come into the new era with fresh new dishes, vegans and carnivours alike. Buen provecho!
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