Madison Based Fuegos Restaurant Made Bad PR Move With Newspaper Interview

Since Fuegos is not yet open for a true food critic’s review the write-up in Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal offered another perspective on the owners and investors of this establishment.   I am in no way judging the way Samara Derby wrote the story.   I know her to be a solid writer and reporter and think of her as a real asset to the newspaper.  Her dining page is one that I always turn to each weekend.

Rather I am wondering if this type of background offered by the owners and operators of an eatery is the best way to promote a restaurant–a type of business that is one of the hardest to make succeed.  Many struggle to make it past the first year of operating.  The food–once this place is opened–might be phenomenal.   But the PR move with this interview to a newspaper reporter was not the most suave way to make an entrance.  In fact, it was most bumbling.

One of the reasons (for) opening the restaurant is to help his family heal after a pair of tragedies in 2013 and 2014, when he lost two of his sons.

His son, Alfredo Emilio, was 18 and living in Janesville when he was killed by a Walworth County sheriff’s deputy in 2013 at a hospital in what police called an escape attempt. Villarreal said his son was shot five times.

Officials said Alfredo, who was an inmate under guard at a town of Geneva hospital, where he was getting tests done, punched and kicked the deputy in the face multiple times. The deputy used a stun gun on Alfredo, which failed to stop him, police said in a news report.

The next year, Villarreal’s 22-year-old son, Pablo, died in a car crash with his best friend. They rolled their truck in Rock County while out celebrating. 

The loss of his two sons left five children fatherless, Villarreal said, and that is the mission behind the restaurant. “This is what’s driving me here everyday,” he said. “When these kids get older and they don’t have their fathers there to give them the opportunities that they would have,” he wants them to have the restaurant.

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