After working in Boulder restaurants since the ’70s, Efrain Gomez opened the first Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant in Lafayette in 1991, where he taught generations of Boulderites what Mexican food—particularly green chile—should taste like.
Efrain moved to Colorado Springs in 1962 and worked at the Army base kitchen for three years, cooking large amounts of food for the soldiers. He moved to Boulder to work as a cook for his uncle, Señor Miguel, where he perfected his craft and learned valuable business lessons along the way. He opened the first Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant in Lafayette in 1991. Roughly six years later, he turned that operation over to his siblings and launched a Boulder location, a spot he owns and operates separately. There, he taught generations of Boulderites what Mexican food—particularly green chile—should taste like.
Efrain has a lot of pride being a Hispanic business owner, and mentions proudly that his uncle Miguel was one of the first Mexicans to own a commercial building in the City of Boulder. He loves seeing that side of the community grow, and is happy that there is plenty of opportunity for other Hispanics to work and thrive in Boulder County.
Efrain has supported local organizations such as Nederland Area Seniors, and has provided gift cards to Boulder Community Health to help honor the tireless work of nurses. He has also contributed to YellowScene Magazine, investing in local and independent journalism. In the fall of 2023, he will begin to support Boulder Valley School District’s new Transition Center Services, providing employment training for local students and underrepresented groups in the community.
Efrain spent a lot of time in his childhood with his aunts, who shared the joys of cooking and gardening with him – this inspired his love of food, his appreciation of nature, and his passion for cooking. His backyard still blossoms with flowers and vegetables, and is also home to a large chicken coop and beehives. In addition to his amazing menu, Efrain is known among his employees and other local business leaders as an example of generosity and kindness.