How Mestizo owner Jim Urdiales kept going amid mammoth-sized challenges 

For Mestizo restaurant owner Jim Urdiales, it has been the year from hell. 

On top of the labor shortages, decreased sales, and supply chain headaches that all restaurateurs have had to deal with during the pandemic, his restaurant flooded in May.

But what’s been the hardest part, Urdiales says, is simply having patience. 

The 18 inches of water Urdiales had in his restaurant on that Monday in May was nothing new. Mestizo had flooded in 2016, 2019 and 2020. He’s now working to “wet proof” the restaurant, which includes adding materials to allow for a quicker bounce back and hopefully not having to rip out sheetrock and carpet in future floods. 

“I realized a month ago that I’ve worked double shifts for almost a year and a half,” he says. “My body’s tired and I’m losing focus. I can’t be the captain of the ship this exhausted, and if we couldn’t staff the kitchen, we had to make decisions.” 

Read the full feature on Urdiales’ journey with Mestizo through the pandemic and flood in the latest edition of Business Report. Send comments to