In two weeks, on September 15th, we’re throwing a huge party at all of our restaurants to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. It’s been an amazing journey that started in Houston in 1966 by Cyclone Anaya (Papa) and his wife, Carolina (Mama). We’ve had some huge milestones along the way, spanning from the end of our Papa’s illustrious wrestling career, to the invention of the jumbo margarita, and then to the opening of our seven locations (with two more coming soon, in Austin and NW Houston!).
As we reflect back on our history, here are a few of the moments that stand out the most:
Jesús Becerra Valencia, wrestling as Apollo Anaya, named Champion of Mexico at the age of 17
Moved to the United States to compete in the National Wrestling Association (NWA). Because of his quickness and moves in the ring, he earned the nickname “Cyclone”, and thus, “Cyclone Anaya” was born!
Cyclone suffered a broken back in a wrestling match, forcing his retirement. Doctors told him that he would never walk again. With the support of his wife, Carolina, and the tenacious spirit that made him so successful in the ring, he beat the odds and made nearly a full recovery.
Cyclone Anaya’s Inn opened at 1201 N. Shepherd Drive in the Heights by Cyclone and Carolina. From the beginning, it was truly a family business. Grandparents, children, aunts, uncles, and cousins were all there helping out; prepping food, serving, cleaning, and restocking. Grandaddy was known to all the guests as “Chop-Chop” because he was in charge of chopping all of our vegetables. Every day was a family event!
Tommie Vaughn Ford, an excellent neighbor to the original location (many salespersons would stop by in their downtime!), bought the property at 1201 Shepherd to expand. Tommie Vaughn is in the same place today! Cyclone purchased 1015 Durham, near the intersection with Washington, and continued the successful business there. Check out one of our ads from back then:
Cyclone sent Vienna to bartending school to sharpen her skills. When she returned, the family created the delicious margarita recipe that we still use today! In the process, they created the first jumbo margarita in Houston!
Cyclone Anaya’s was passed to his children so Cyclone and Carol could retire in Del Rio, TX. Rico and Vienna still own and operate our restaurants today!
Cyclone Anaya’s rebranded to logo and style you see today
The opening of our restaurant in Memorial, on Woodway
The opening of our restaurant in the Heights on Durham
The opening of our restaurant in Midtown
The opening of our restaurant in CITYCENTRE. Current Executive Chef, Jason Gould, was hired, bringing decades of culinary expertise with Michelin and five starred restaurants across three continents.
The opening of the first Cyclone Anaya’s outside the state of Texas, in Fairfax, Virginia.
The opening of our restaurant in Rice Village
The opening of our restaurant in The Woodlands
We welcome all of our guests to join us Thursday, September 15th for our 50th Anniversary Party. We’ll have DJs, giveaways, and specials like throwback pricing to commemorate the occasion. Mark your calendars!