In the 1950s, in the Nacimiento commune, in the Biobío region, a notary’s office operated, which in 1973 became the only hotel in the city, called Hotel Victoria. Then, in 1992, the place was transformed into the mythical restaurant “Don Willy”.
Its current owner, Isabel Castro, after years of tireless work and effort, reached her goal of being able to buy it from its former owner, who had received it as part of an inheritance. “I started working as a kitchen teacher in 1998 without imagining the history it would be built. All I knew was that I had always been a person of drive and with hope and concern to grow. I was a single mom at 19 years old and for me it was an obligation to stand up and do something good with my life”, explains Isabel Castro, who after having worked at Central Pangui, decided to accept a job offer at “Don Willy”.
“I started working and after a year and a half the owner left and rented it to another administrator. That’s when the problems began and we had hard times, even having the risk to close. Several administrators tried to lift it, but the day came when Mr. Guillermo -the owner- offered me the rental of the premises with all the payment facilities”, she confesses.
That is when she dared to take a big step.
“I offered him to rent it for three months, and if I didn´t succeed, I would give it back because I had no way to get into debt. The first day I assume as the administrator, I made $ 100,000 in just one night, which in that minute was extremely good. A year later I bought a truck, I changed the business of the place and bought 10 beds to transform one of its sectors into an accommodation, which works to this day. But it was not enough, I needed to do something for me”, explains Isabel.
Time passed, and after raising the money, she offered Mr. Guillermo to purchase the premises. “Today I have no debt, even when I was paralyzed for six months. The fact that this place is mine today is a blessing from God that I thank every day”, she explains excitedly.
At the restaurant it is offered only homemade food, going through menus such as roast chicken, “ajiaco”, beans, chicken, beef and pork “cazuela”, empanadas, barbecue, among others. Today, due to the pandemic, it only serves by delivery.
“Don Willy” cannot operate because it does not have an open terrace, and eventually, as the pandemic continues, it will only be able to open up to 50% of its capacity. “It has been very difficult, but even so, with a lot of effort, I have been able to pay taxes, the salaries of two workers that I have and not get into debt with anything”, confesses Isabel.
However, Isabel is already prepared to receive her clients with all the necessary security measures to avoid contagion, once the authorities allow it, thanks to the Arriba Todos Juntos plan.
“What CMPC does is a great gesture. The fact of caring about us and giving us a facility to serve our customers is something that is deeply appreciated. I received cleaning wipes, alcohol gel, liquid soap, masks, among other things. We look forward to using them as soon as possible”, says Isabel Castro.