With a mariachi band, one of Homer’s oldest restaurants, Don Jose’s, celebrated its 35th anniversary on Sunday. Carmen Ramos and her husband and the restaurant’s namesake, Jose Ramos, started the Pioneer Avenue restaurant in March 1982. They met in Los Angeles and came to Homer in 1980 before settling into the restaurant business. Over the years the Ramos family has opened restaurants in Homer, Soldotna, Kodiak, Kenai and Anchorage, but now runs the Homer and Anchorage restaurants. They also own the Harbor Grill on the Spit and have invested in local real estate.
“We’ve been working hard. Thanks to the local people of Homer for their support over the years. If it wasn’t for them, we would not be here,” Carmen Ramos said. “To be in the restaurant business you have to have patience plus a lot of energy and dedication.”
Carmen and Jose Ramos have two sons, Miguel and Evan, and one granddaughter, Sophia. Don Jose’s serves traditional Mexican food as well as pizza and American food.
“I have a lot of people form Texas and California, they’re surprised to find a good Mexican restaurant in Alaska,” Carmen Ramos said.