Thirty-Five Years and Counting

Papagayos’ Continued Success

Now celebrating its 35th year, Papagayos continues to attract and maintain local clientele and visitors. The restaurant, which is owned by Nicole and Dean Stufkosky, has been a tremendous success and, on June 1, the couple hosted an anniversary celebration.

There was a mariachi band that played inside, as well as outside in the patio, and the excitement was felt throughout. In addition to the music, Nicole explained that there were drink and food specials all throughout the day.

“Thirty-five years is huge!” Nicole exclaimed. “I get overwhelmed by it,” she added. If someone would have told her that they’d be running a thriving restaurant this long, she wouldn’t have believed them. “It’s hard to believe, to be honest. We do feel lucky, and it’s exciting.”

Running a flourishing business – especially up here on the mountain – is a difficult task to accomplish, but Nicole and Dean credit a lot of their success to their staff members who have worked hard to make Papagayos a family-friendly destination and tradition.

“I would say that our continued success is probably due to our staff,” Nicole acknowledged. “People come back here because they have had certain people wait on them for a certain amount of time, and they also just know everybody.”

Papagayos is family-oriented, not only for the clientele but for Nicole, Dean and the staff. There are staff members who have been at Papagayos for a long time, and whose children now work there. Nicole and Dean’s daughter-in-law is also an employee, as well as their grandchildren.

To top it off, kitchen manager Nelson Giron has been with the Papagayos’ team for 30 years, and his wife is a manager and server. Their son is the bar manager. Nicole says that Giron and his family have been a huge asset to the team.

Consistency and continuity play a big role with Papagayos. Nicole and Dean shared that, although the menu has been changed in some ways, for the most part it has remained the same, and that is due to Giron’s hard work.

One menu item that has maintained its popularity for years is the flautas. They originally were only offered deep-fried, but now are available as a healthier grilled option. “We also have gluten-free options,” Nicole said, noting that they have a menu suitable for everyone.

The Papagayos’ environment is not only friendly, but warm, comfortable, inviting and, overall, a good time. With a tropical beach vibe throughout, it stays true to authentic Mexican roots. The bar near the entrance is perfect for happy hour and enjoying time with friends.

“That’s what it’s all about, having a good time,” Dean voiced. “I think that’s the number-one thing about the restaurant and the patio. Just come and have fun with us...that is our whole philosophy.”

As an extra addition, Papagayos’ T-shirts are made every Cinco De Mayo. These T-shirts are not only for staff members to wear but are sold to the public, as well. Those interested can buy the shirts and sweatshirts, too, as a way to show appreciation for the restaurant – and the mountain.

“The plan for the future is to continue the success that we have. As long as we still enjoy it, we will keep doing it,” Nicole concluded.