casa amigos perkins grand wausau schofield

Casa Amigos opened in the former Perkins restaurant, in a location where others struggled

casa amigos perkins grand wausau schofield

In every city, there are a few spots where businesses cannot achieve a long-term tenure, but Yareldi Gutierrez is betting on her house of friends to beat these odds with Casa Amigos. 

Since March, the latest branch of the Texas-born entrepreneur’s Casa Amigos Mexican Restaurant has been open in Schofield. The restaurant is the latest to try its fortunes in the former Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, following Garden Pancake House and Rodzina Restaurant. 

While this kind of site track record would scare off some, Gutierrez says she, her husband Ramon, and their unrelated business partner have wanted the spot for some time and they do not let drawbacks drag them down. 

Casa Amigos has locations in Merrill (on Hwy. 107 just outside of town) and Marshfield (12 N Central Ave.). 

“I have been told by people I have a thing for cursed buildings,” she says. “Our Merrill location is sort of out at the end of town and is still doing pretty good. I also believe the main reason we will go on is the food we bring in is different. Our menu is much larger, we make our own seasoning and we make our own chorizo and plate and present our food differently as well.”

A quick examination of the Casa Amigos Mexican Restaurant menu on Facebook lists around 160 items. This is more than the 132 industry trade publication Restaurant Business noted were average for major chains in a 2018 report and, while expansive menus sometimes invite critique, Gutierrez adds those who have come in so far have been so positive she feels like she is blessed.

“Everyone coming in leaves happy,” Gutierrez adds. “But, regardless of someone’s experience being positive or negative, we appreciate what they say. This is a way for me to maintain my family and we are looking at expanding to other locations across the U.S. by the end of the year.”      

And those plans for expansion are serious. If this initiative is carried out as planned, the Casa Amigos name will be in more than 300 locations in the near future. Managing an empire is never easy, but, when considering where she is now and where she used to be, Gutierrez says they can make it and help others to do so, too. 

“Growing up in foster care I was taking some bad steps,” she says. “I either would have ended up in jail or dead. I never expected this and want to tell kids if I could make it out, they can too.”

Casa Amigos is located at 508 Grand Ave. in Schofield. The site is open from 11 a.m. through 9 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays and 11 a.m. through 10 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, too. More business information can be found by contacting them at 715-841-0018.

Evan J. Pretzer is a freelance contributor to City Pages. He can be reached at evanjpretzer.com or [email protected].