By Thomas Sellers Jr.
One of the most successful Mexican restaurants in Millington has been Los Pilares.
The thriving eatery located at 4791 Navy Road has a full parking lot most weekends. With a need for more space, Jose Ruiz opened Cuervos Mexican Restaurant this summer. The former home of Francisco’s is now under the director of Ruiz as Cuervos.
“I’m very familiar with the area,” Ruiz said. “I’m with Los Pilares. Los Pilares is too small. We can expand and have more room here. Everybody knows the name Los Pilares. This is a different name we want people to get to know.
“I needed bigger room,” he continued. “And I have more room right here. We have the same recipes, same great food. The atmosphere will be the same.”
Los Pilares opened in 2003 about 10 years after Ruiz moved to Millington. The Mexico native first reached the United States via California.
Ruiz worked in the fields until he moved to Tennessee in 1992. After arriving in Flag City in 1993, he worked with Los Reyes for 8 years.
Now he is helping to guide two restaurants in Millington with Cuervos being the latest. With years of success at Los Pilares, Ruiz is confident Cuervos will have a similar experience.
“Why we’re so good? It’s a secret,” Ruiz said with a smile. “But it’s both food and customer service. We take care of our customers well and we make everything good. We make great margaritas. We’ve brought the same recipes here.”
In addition to the regular/jumbo margaritas specials Monday through Thursday evenings, the menu at Cuervos features economical specials like the Speedy Gonzales, Huevos Rancheros and Burrito Mexicana.
From traditional Mexican dishes to the exclusive specials, Ruiz said the food is just a part of his formula for success in a market dominated by Mexican restaurants.
“I think when you have a business, when you have family they know what you like to do,” he said. “They have the same recipe as you. We know to take care of the customers.”
The Millington area features Mexican based eateries like El Toro Taco, Roberto’s, El Mezcal, Casa Mexicana Taco Bell, Los Reyes and the new Millington Margaritas.
“For about 3 or 4 weeks, things went down a little bit because Margaritas opened,” Ruiz acknowledged. “They went to try Margaritas. But the people came back to Cuervos.”
Cuervos is located at 7772 Highway 51 North and is opened Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Call out orders and catering is available.
For more information, call 873-0362.
By Thomas Sellers Jr.