On May 9th, 2022 a Hillsboro favorite will reopen after a 16-month hiatus. Brandy Braun and Pablo Regino run Pepper’s Mexican Grill, one of the most highly touted eateries in Hillsboro. And they can not wait to get back in the game and pick up where they left off when the building had to be vacated for some remodeling in January 2021.
“The entire electrical, plumbing, and flooring were replaced. Because of Covid labor shortages, supply shortages, etc., the work took over a year,” said Brandy. “We can not wait to be open again!”
During the time away, the duo made great use of the break.
“Pablo and I took full advantage of having the time off. He traveled out of the country several times and I took two long road trips to visit 21 National Parks, among other places I’ve always wanted to go. We came back to work in November and have been painting, pressure washing, deep cleaning, redecorating, purchasing new equipment, repairing, building shelves, a pergola, moving everything back in from storage, and rewashing every single item that went back in there. ” she added.
Facebook, Yelp, and Google reviews are off the charts for Peppers, which has a legion of Hillsboro locals and others from around the County who have pushed their ratings to the roof. The food is referred to in the rosiest tones, and the service is even better.
Photo courtesy of Pepper’s
Once they reopen we have to wonder if the duo can bring the magic back in 2022?
“We have coordinated schedules and are very fortunate that every single employee is going to return and we have hired an additional four. We will reopen on May 9th and will be open 7 days a week. We have greatly missed so many of the regular customers that we’ve come to know. Overall it has been a blessing in disguise because not only did we get a break from constantly working for years, but we learned to appreciate what we took for granted before. I was very disappointed to come back though and see that our “Hillsboro Strong” sign had been taken down and is missing. We are looking forward to seeing familiar faces! So many people have messaged us through Facebook, text, phone call, and stopped by to check out the progress. We miss them and are so happy to be back in the game!” – Brandy Braun
Being the People’s Paper, the Herald wanted to know about this dynamic duo and how the combinations of food and service are powered. So we asked about their roots and what brought them together in this successful business. The answers were revealing.
“Pablo is from Mexico, he came to US in 1990, and he became a US citizen in January 2018. His application process took 28 years. He lives in Cornelius. His Mother lives with him most of the year and in Mexico part of the year. His mother, one of three sisters, three of four of his brothers, and many in laws, nieces and nephews all live in Washington County. We met working together in 1999. We were a couple from 2001-2015, married in 2007, and divorced in 2015. We are close friends now. We have no kids. I was born in Portland and I happily live in Hillsboro now,” explained Braun.
This look into the lives behind Pepper’s ownership tells a great part of the story. They both live in our community and have the one to one connections with their customers. The facts prove time and time again that local food prepared by local people, talented people, wins over any corporate formula. These two put the X factor in this Mexican Grill.
On May 9th the food returns drinks too! Many have commented on how great the bar service is. So as the weather warms up many will be heading to the uniquely pie-shaped building at 976 SE Baseline to get their favorite cocktail or a cold beer.
In closing, when Peppers reopens a commitment to community service and community giving will be back. This is something very special that Brandy and Pablo did for many years. Braun told me about this aspect of Pepper’s community approach.
“Before Covid we donated either annually or semi annually to the Washington County PD, Hillsboro PD, Shop with a Cop, Oregon Peace Officers Association, Portland Crime Stoppers, and Fallen Badge Foundation. After Covid and before we closed, we donated, with partial assistance of sponsors, over 700 meals to health care workers at several local hospitals. Unfortunately that all came to an end when we closed, but we look forward to starting up our donations again after getting back into the swing of things.” Brandy Braun