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Victorian takes over as manager at Rosebud (w/video)

By Jessica Rodrigo
March 26, 2014 at midnight
Updated March 25, 2014 at 10:26 p.m.

The Rosebud Fountain and Grill in downtown Victoria sees a large lunch crowd, but recently, its Friday night live music venue has attracted a new segment of business.

Food is a big part of Baldemar Gonzalez's daily routine.

Especially now that he has taken over as the new manager of Rosebud Fountain and Grill.

When he heard the restaurant was considering closing its doors, he and his wife, Patricia Albrecht, stepped up to the challenge of keeping it open.

"You can't close a place that's been here forever," Gonzalez, 47, of Victoria, said. "I didn't want to see it close."

For the past two months, he's been working with Denise McCue, owner of the restaurant, to take over the operation.

"He's doing a great job at the restaurant," McCue, 45, of Victoria, said about Gonzalez. "I think it will only get better."

He's been working on transforming the restaurant into what he hopes will become - once again - a downtown destination for diners.

Business of food

In addition to his new role as manager for Rosebud, Gonzalez owns and operates the L&L Grill inside Palace Bingo. He took over the restaurant five years ago when the previous owner sold it and now splits his time between both restaurants to make sure his diners are satisfied.

Doing what he loves

"It makes me happy to see people are enjoying themselves. It's just something I do, and I like to do it."

Memories of Bianchi's

The Victoria native remembers a time before Rosebud was here and the space was Bianchi's Pharmacy. He remembers coming to the pharmacy as a child with his parents. Back then, he said, the restaurant was where the kitchen is located.

Lower prices, new menu

Since he arrived, Gonzalez has made a few changes to the prices and items on the menu. He believes that if prices are more affordable, then more customers will come in to dine.

Untouchable decor

The Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper and colorful furniture are iconic of Rosebud. Gonzalez has no plans to give the restaurant a facelift.

"It stands out. Where else are you going to go and find decor like this?"

Perfect for the job

"It's just how you do it. If you know what you're doing, you can succeed. My wife and I came in here with confidence, and I think it's working out great."

Realistic expectations

"It's never going to be perfect. In this business, you can never make everyone happy. Every restaurant goes through it."

Hoping for the best

"I want to make this place the best place to eat downtown and the best place to go for live music and dinner. ... I hope to have it for a long time and own it one day."



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