You may already know and love Willy’s Mexicana Grill or Willy’s newest venture, Howlin’ Willy’s Hot Chicken—but who exactly is Willy, the guy who started Willy’s Mexicana Grill 26 years ago?
A North Carolina native, Willy went out west as a young guy to find himself. Ending up in San Francisco’s Mission district, or what Willy calls “The Land of the Burrito Gods,” Willy may not have found “himself,” but what he did find was an intense love for authentic Mexican food.
After one particularly good burrito, however, Willy did find himself—he would return to Atlanta and bring the incredible flavors he had discovered with him. With this dream and a little funding, Willy started his first restaurant in 1995. His mom worked the kitchen, Willy’s passion for authentic flavors ran the menu, and the Willy’s employees have kept everything running smoothly ever since.
Willy has been delighted to continue growing Willy’s Mexicana Grill and share the gospel of delicious, freshly-made burritos that never sacrifice on quality.
And as much as he cares about providing crave-worthy, locally sourced food, Willy is as passionate about helping the community. Organizations that Willy’s has worked with include Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, ATLFamilyMeal, Burrito Project ATL, and Giving Kitchen.
In addition to helping out locally, it’s also important to Willy’s Mexicana Grill to watch out for the whole earth. After all, we need a healthy planet to have fresh, delicious ingredients. With this eco-conscious spirit in mind, Willy’s restaurants have taken on several eco-friendly initiatives, including self-programming thermostats, tankless water heaters, recycling, and recycled containers (rather than Styrofoam).
Ultimately, Willy is just a guy who loved burritos so much that he made it his career. And now he’s doing the same with Howlin’ Willy’s Hot Chicken! So, visit one of his restaurants today to indulge in the flavors that Willy has brought back from San Francisco and Nashville.