Lopez Taco House began when Maria Lopez began to appreciate that her talents for cooking might lead to a business opportunity.
Maria Antonio Ortez was born in Brownsvile Texas. She came to Albion and worked at the old A&W across from Brooks Foundry as a car hop when Manny Lopez stopped by for a coney dog. They married in 1956.
Maria and Manuel were members of the local Latin America Club, which used to hold dances on Saturday Nights. Maria ran the kitchen there serving up tacos and other Mexican staples. They began serving customers in July 1975 at the old “Brick Alley” location.
Maria worked at McGrw-Edison, Yankees, and the Royal Cafe before she opened Lopez Taco House with her husband on Christmas Eve in 1975.
Initially it was Maria that did all the cooking for the first five years, because Manuel had a good job working for Goodyear in Jackson. Eventually he took over Maria’s culinary duties.
The building at 205 N. Superior Street formerly housed Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant, but the owners did not want it any more, so the Lopezes moved in.
Maria passed away in 2011, and Manuel worked in the business after that, working with his son, Daniel. Manuel died in 2018. His obituary can be seen here: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/albion-mi/manuel-lopez-8004361