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Al Key

Karina Ramírez: Mi Casita: Never too late to celebrate milestone birthday

The home of the Grande Burrito, Taco Tuesdays and Thursdays and what some consider the best breakfast tacos in town is celebrating an anniversary.

Matt and Lilly Kohandani, owners of Mi Casita Mexican Food, are celebrating 16 years of business this week. The celebration is coming one year late, since Matt Kohandani said he meant to celebrate the business’ quinceañera and for some reason never really got around to it.

So to ensure the anniversary does not go unnoticed again he is preparing an all-day celebration Wednesday during business hours. Customers will receive free 20-ounce drinks with any meal purchase and can participate in different giveaways at the first Mi Casita location at 100 N. Carroll Blvd.

“I also want to thank my customers for continuing to support us all these years,” he said.

The Kohandanis opened the North Carroll Boulevard restaurant in 1996. Two others followed — 905 W. University Drive in 2000 and 2221 S. Interstate 35E in 2008.

Between the three restaurants, Mi Casita employs 30 people.

Matt Kohandani said his business is certainly a family affair.

“All of my kids somehow are involved,” he said. “So I am sure one of them or two of them will take the business over one day.”

For more information, visit


This weekend we say goodbye to Denton’s place for Peruvian and Mexican food.

Ada W. Fort, the owner of Café Garibaldi, announced this week that she closed her restaurant after 22 years in business about three weeks ago.

Fort said her head cook left the business a couple of weeks ago. She said she tried to run the business on her own, but the work was just too much.

“It is better for me to leave the business altogether,” Fort said Wednesday.

Fort opened her business in 1994 at 1813 N. Elm St., where it remained for 10 years. In 2004, she moved her restaurant to Justin and six years later returned to Elm Street, where it continued serving customers until last month.

Fort said she was grateful to her loyal customers and was not sure what kind of business she will run next.

“I do need to find a job to help me for the next couple of months,” she said. “And after that I will start planning to open another restaurant, maybe a Peruvian one this time.”


Anthony and Melody Bearden of Minifigs, Bricks, and More — a Lego-themed retail store — finally opened their store at 2215 S. Loop 288, Suite 408, on Friday. Anthony has been buying, selling and trading Lego products online since 2007 and wanted to have a place to share with other Lego fans.

The Beardens spent a couple of months fundraising online via a crowd-sourcing website to gather extra capital that would allow them to open their business.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 8 p .m. Saturday.

The business is located across from Golden Triangle Mall above Mooyah’s Burgers.

For more information, visit


Warren Hooper’s Oxide Gallery moved from their Hickory Street location to 211 N. Cedar St. The store closed for about a week and is scheduled to reopen Tuesday, according to their Facebook page.

Oxide Galley store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

More information about the gallery is available at


Chase has announced the recipients of their Mission Small Business program, a co-sponsoring program with LivingSocial, an online marketplace where customers can buy and share the best things to do in different cities. More than 25 local businesses participated to be considered for the $250,000 grant, but none were selected.

Chase has another grant program that begins this week. Voting for the Chase Community Giving program begins Thursday. Facebook users will be able to cast their votes at through Sept. 19.

To learn more about the Mission Small Business grant recipients, visit



On Aug. 23, the American Hospital Association and the Texas Hospital Association announced that U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) was named the recipient of the AHA Health Care Champion Award for his contributions to health care public policy.

Burgess has been engaged on critical issues, such as legislation to improve the implementation of the federal health information technology incentive program and efforts to fix the Medicare physician payment system without harming other providers in the health care community.

Burgess also has been active in supporting medical liability reform and improving health care price transparency, a news release said.

Burgess serves on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee and is the vice chair of the Health Subcommittee. He is the founder and chairman of the Congressional Health Care Caucus.

Burgess, who has represented the 26th Congressional District of Texas since 2003, spent nearly three decades practicing medicine in North Texas.

The award was presented to Burgess during the 2012 THA Rural and Community Hospital Symposium held in Fort Worth the weekend of Aug. 22-23.

The American Hospital Association is a nonprofit organization of health care providers that includes 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care with 42,000 individual members. The Texas Hospital Association represents more than 445 of the state’s 584 acute-care hospitals and health care systems, which employs approximately 369,000 health care professionals statewide.


Coming up

Change agent, trainer and procurement specialist Emma Fowler will continue to provide classes for job seekers this month.

She will play host to LinkedIn for JobSeekers at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Zera’s Coffee Company, 420 E. McKinney St. The two-hour classes will also be held Sept. 12 and 19.

Attendees need to bring a laptop or wireless device, have basic computer skills, an active Google e-mail address, a 30-second written elevator pitch and a copy of their resume.

Online registration is available at

For more information, call 501-425-3044.


The Lakes Cities, Little Elm and Argyle chambers of commerce will have a “mix and mingle” mixer sponsored by the Denton Boys & Girls Club and Merchant Bank Service beginning 6 p.m. Thursday at Texas Land & Cattle, 8398 S. Stemmons Freeway in Hickory Creek.

The first 50 RSVPs at get in free. Cost to attend is $5.

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her email address is