by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Pepe's hopes to open by Jan. 1

Pepe's Mexican Restaurant has taken over the lease of Trout Creek Barbecue, and is in the process of moving into the building at the corner of Highway 97 and J Street, according to restaurant manager Gladys Chavez.
   "It has nice parking here. There is a very small kitchen, but we're trying to make do with it," Chavez said, noting there was only a small grill, so they are installing a 58-inch grill and large hood. Family members are also painting the red and white checked interior with other colors.
   "We hope, once all the permits are OK'd, to be open before the first of the year," Chavez said.
   The family-run business is waiting for city approval of their application for funds to paint the outside of the building, and they plan to do some landscaping also.
   "The drive-through equipment isn't working right now, and it costs $2,000 for new speakers, but eventually, we would like to use it for call-in orders," Chavez said.
   Pepe's for years operated at a downtown location, but left that spot after the lease ended three months ago, and have been searching for a new location ever since.
   Trout Creek Barbecue closed this month after being open for less than a year.
   The new Pepe's location was formerly a Taco Time for decades, after being built in the late 1970s.
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