KINGSVILLE, Texas — The talk about the table this week centers around the South Texas Hole in the Wall restaurant.
It’s a restaurant we visited back in December and spoke with customers and the owner.
Everyone we spoke with was concerned about the coronavirus and the emotional and financial tolls it was taking on people.
Now, the customers are all gone and the family who runs it is unsure of what to do next.
"I almost felt like I was losing a loved one,” Rochelle Liguez tells us. “It's my baby. It's everything that I have been working hard for.”
Everything seemed to be getting better for Liguez as more and more people began coming back to the restaurant. But on Valentine’s Day evening, the big freeze hit, most of her reservations canceled, and that’s when she knew something had to give.
"Well, my heart dropped, you know, to see that,” Liguez says about the icy and brutally cold temperatures that crippled her business.
She came in days later to see the collapse of the kitchen ceiling, insulation flying all over, sheetrock swinging in the air, and water everywhere. Rochelle's dream turned into a nightmare.
When asked if she ever had any situations in her life that have proven to be as difficult as this. Liguez quickly answered, “I can honestly say no. No.” Adding that "We were done. We were done.”
When we visited back in December, Rochelle continued to hold on to hope that she was not done.
She believed with the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions that her tables would fill up once again. Then three weeks ago, things started going her way financially.
"As everybody was starting to get their vaccines, they started coming out again,” Rochelle remembers. “We were filling up the tables again. It felt normal.”
But her restaurant appeared to be no match for Mother Nature. Rochelle, the mother of eight, was left with no choice but to shut down. For her, there’s no question it was an extremely difficult decision.
“I think my pride is what makes it harder to accept because it does feel like I failed even though everyone says I didn't fail,” she says, crying.
Rochelle says if it hadn’t been for her loyal clientele, she may have been forced to close down even earlier.
“I have customers who stop by and tell me, you didn't fail, it's a blessing in disguise you don't see it yet,” Rochelle tells us.
That blessing could be Rochelle's food truck that needs some tender loving care and inside equipment worth thousands of dollars.
When we asked how realistic it is to get that food truck on the road, she says, “I have to keep my faith and say it's possible.”
So far, friends have collected more than 50 items to raffle off and Rochelle has conducted drive-through events for donations.
“It was a wake-up call that I've got to just trust God and let go,” she says.
And for now, Rochelle’s hope is to start over and get a fresh start. Her faith, she tells us, is leading the way.
"I hope to look back in the year to see what God's greater plan was,” she says. “I just have goals and I want to reach them.”
We wish Rochelle and her family the best in the future.
If you'd like to help Rochelle, you can always visit her gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/rochelle-south-texas-hole-in-the-wall?qid=8bb9bb07364c67819d334e148adf8353
So where should we go next where the food is good but the talk is even better?
You can interact with me on all my social media.
And of course, you can always send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you at the table.