This is a weird coincidence. Yesterday, I wrote the post below about Peter Tarantino and scheduled it to run at 9 this morning. Before it was live, I got a phone call from a well-place source informing me that “there was a real Mexican revolution at Avila’s on Sunday.” Here’s the story: Ricky Avila, one of the nicest guys in the restaurant business, has been running his family’s restaurant for years. Ricky’s mother owns the building on Maple Avenue and the place has just been on steady cruise control. It turns out Peter Tarantino has been working with Ricky for the last year and Peter’s nephew, Michael, has been waiting tables.
Yow. Zah. Enter Avila’s debut on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. After host Guy Fieri left town last April, Avila’s business more than doubled. Apparently the uptake in money coming into the business fueled a real family feud. According to several former employees, Ricky and his wife left early Sunday morning for a two-week vacation in Hawaii. As the plane took off, Ricky’s brother Octavio “stormed into the restaurant on Sunday morning and fired almost everyone.” Both Tarantinos were let go (they are not a source for this post). One witness says, “Octavio said ‘I have a gun, and I will use it’” during the takeover. It sounds like Octavio staged his revolution a little carelessly. The liquor license is in Ricky’s name so legally Octavio can’t sell liquor. Also, Ricky found out about the fiasco before he boarded his connecting flight. Instead of hitting the beach in Hawaii, he turned around and came back to Dallas and called his lawyers. Stay tuned.