Felipe’s family

Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant has been around for over 50 years, but not many know the full history of the establishment. The Lujano family has been running the business since its conception.


Illustration by John Lee

Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant is known for their assortment of Mexican foods, some of which include the Felipe Deluxe, Arnadas Special, and the Jalos Special.

Cevin Montgomery, Reporter

Felipe currently plays football for the Maize Eagles and plays the position of offensive lineman on the freshman team. (Photo by Pierce Burns)

Mexican food is enjoyed by a large portion of the United States, with nearly 49,286 Mexican restaurants open as of 2022 according to ibisworld.com, but we rarely get to know the stories behind the food.

Felipe Lujano is a Maize High freshman whose family owns the Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant chain. It is locally owned and was originally founded in 1967 by Felipe and Lucy Lujano. It is currently being run by several members of the family.

Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant has 4 separate locations around the Wichita area, including Felipe Jr’s located on E Harry St. The first to open was on W Central Ave, with the latest addition being located on 119th St. (Illustration by John Lee)

“My dad’s always busy with the business,” said Felipe. “He manages like everything, so he’ll be in his office and like, he’ll do like the food orders, drinks, and he’ll help run it. He does bartending, helps upfront and he just does a little bit of everything.”

The style of the restaurants is mainly Mexican-American, however, the design varies from location to location. 

“You see a lot of servers running around and people serving food,” said Felipe. “Most of its Mexican food, but there’s also Mexican American-style foods. The one off of central is like half modernish and like half old style because they haven’t remolded it in forever, and then the one-off of 119th has a pretty modern look to it.“

The restaurants have nearly 50 years of family history behind them. Ever since the chain started in the late 1960s several locations have been opened by various family members.

Poncho Lujano is the co-owner of the Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant chain. He often checks out the restaurants and makes sure everything is working the way it should. (Photo by Pierce Burns)

“There are four active locations in town right now,“ said Poncho Lujano, father of Felipe Lujano. ”The original was on West Central. The second one was opened in 71. My parents sold that to a cousin of mine and her husband. The third one was opened up with my father’s brother in 92-ish. The fourth one was independently opened without my brother.”

Felipe plans on continuing his family’s legacy by taking over a portion of the company later in life.

“I plan on taking over my dad’s share as a company, the one on the west side, and then maybe later the other two that my dad co-owns.“ said Felipe. “My dad doesn’t want to open anymore, but you never know.”