Jorge Alvarez Sr. and his wife, Soledad, migrated from Cotija, Michoacan, Mexico. In the late 1980’s Mr. Alvarez was given an opportunity to operate Cotijas Taco Shop in Santee, CA. Originally, his intent was to work as hard as he could so he could support his family. After many years of learning the taco shop business he decided to venture out on his own. In the year 2000, with the help of a local business man, Frank Salazar, Mr. Alvarez opened up Los Pinos Taco Shop in La Mesa, CA. The story goes that the name for the shop comes from the “pine trees in the median of the road” outside of the shop.
For many years their little shop thrived using their family recipes to serve Mexican food to the local La Mesa community. Being one of the few authentic restaurants, there was little competition in the area and business was good. The eldest son of the family, George Jr., wanted to help his father and make things a bit more interesting. He decided to grow the menu to offer burritos with unique names that would set themselves apart from a traditional taco shop. George calls it a San Diego, California style Mexican food to cater to his customers.
George Alvarez has been helping his dad since he was 4 years old. From sweeping floors to cleaning tables, to taking orders George grew up in the taco shop business. He found himself working at the taco shop at the same time as going to school. In 2015, Mr Alvarez retired and naturally passed the business down to George as the new owner.
Nowadays George is grooming his own children in the family business and is looking to grow and branch out Los Pinos Taco Shop in a variety of ways. Try our newly created Americano Burrito and Chijole Sauce which is exclusive to Los Pinos Taco Shop. Look out for new menus, locations and other creative ideas coming up as we get closer to our Anniversary year of 2020.
See Inside Our Shop