La Cabana owner pleased with start

Malinda Just / Free Press<p>Owner Atanacio Nieto decided to start a Mexican restaurant in Hillsboro while looking for a place to eat while in a former job.Click image to enlarge

Having been open for nearly 10 months, La Cabana is thriving in downtown Hillsboro.

The authentic Mexican rest?aurant, owned by Atanacio Nieto, opened Nov. 17, 2006, at 117 S. Main.

The restaurant has since expanded into the building previously occupied by Molly?s On Main.

?We?ve been real pleased with Hillsboro,? Nieto said. ?It?s given me more than what I was expecting.?

Nieto said people from surrounding communities, such as Peabody, Florence, Hesston, Newton and Lost Springs, have frequented La Cabana.

?People here have been really nice to us,? he said. ?We haven?t had any problems. They?ve been supporting our business pretty good. So that?s why we?re still here.?

Nieto?s menu at La Cabana consists of authentic Mexican food.

?It?s homemade daily and fresh,? he said. ?We don?t use stuff out of cans, and it?s good for your health.?

Nieto worked in the restaurant business prior to arriving in Hillsboro. He was in a partnership, running restaurants in Emporia, Eureka and Burling?ton.

However, he had taken some time away from restaurants to work for an oil company. Having only worked in that field for about four months, Nieto discovered Hillsboro?s need for more eating establishments.

?They (oil company) sent me to work the south side of town on a couple wells,? he said. ?So we came in for lunch. It was a Monday, and there was nothing here.

?I?ve been in this business for five years, and I wasn?t going to do it anymore. But when I came to Hillsboro, I thought I?d give it another try and see what happens,? Nieto said. ?So far, everything has been pretty well.?

Currently, eight people in addition to Nieto work at La Cabana. With the expansion, another waiter will be arriving to cover the new addition.

Also, Nieto said he has other changes in the works, and plans to begin implementing them the first of the year.

?I have some plans in mind, but it takes time to do them,? he said.

Nieto contributes the restaurant?s success to a growing and supportive community.

?I do believe Hillsboro is growing and they need a good place to come and eat,? he said. ?People have been really nice to us. I don?t have problems with anybody. It?s wonderful people, that?s all I can say.?

La Cabana is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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