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Órale Taqueria opening soon in Paso Robles 

Atascadero residents make dream a reality with restaurant

Joel, Isabella and Kristin Casillas in front of their new restaurant, Órale Taqueria, in Paso Robles. Photo by Heather Young

Joel, Isabella and Kristin Casillas in front of their new restaurant, Órale Taqueria, in Paso Robles. Photo by Heather Young

–Atascadero residents Joel and Kristin Casillas have been working toward opening their own restaurant for two years. Early next week, Kristin said, it will become a reality when they open Órale Taqueria where Chico’s Café had been located at 834 11th St. Chico’s Café is moving next door into the old Lombardi’s Italian restaurant location.

The taqueria will offer a variety of authentic and fresh Mexican dishes, Kristin said. One thing she said she’s excited about is that they will offer vegetarian options beyond rice and beans.

“Even though I’m a meat eater I have friends who are vegetarian,” Kristin said. In addition to an array of burritos choices, their signature burrito will be the Órale burrito. It will include salsa made in a molcajete, a pestle and mortar made from stone.

“There’s only a couple of tacos on our menu, but we’ll have a salsa bar so you’ll be able to make whatever you want,” Kristin said.

Joel Casillas in action.

Joel Casillas in action.

The small restaurant will have seating for 28 inside and 14 on the patio out front. Joel has 10 years of experience working in Mexican restaurants including working at Papi’s in Atascadero, which then became El Compadre. Joel moved to Atascadero 10 years ago from Jalisco, Mexico, because his uncle and father lived in the area. It was here that Joel and Kristin met. Kristin works next door at what was then Carlene’s Café, it is now Toshi’s Sushi. Kristin said she would regularly have lunch at Papi’s. They started dating and married four years ago.

After they met, Kristin went to school in San Diego and then spent a year studying in South American.

“That helped with our relationship because I can speak Spanish,” she said.

Today, the couple has a 10-month-old daughter, Isabella, and Kristin works at MindBody in San Luis Obispo. Joel recently stopped working at El Compadre to

The couple chose Paso Robles as their restaurant’s location after they found out that the Lombardi’s location was open and that Chico’s was looking to move. Kristin said that Chico’s owner gave them the choice between the two, but they aren’t ready for such a large location.

“We’re excited to have Chico’s as a neighbor,” Kristin said. “We looked at a couple of places in San Luis but we really love Paso.”

“To get this place in downtown we couldn’t ask for a better location,” Joel added.

For more information, call (805) 369-2333, email or go to The couple plans to be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kristin said they have ideas for a future brunch menu, currently it will serve a full menu from opening to close.

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