Most people who know Gabe Zamora know him as the innovative superintendent of Olfen ISD or else as the First Sergeant of his National Guard unit. Zamora is one of those people who is always moving forward and bringing along anyone who wishes to accompany him. Zamora is continuing to move forward, this time in a new business in Ballinger and is close to opening his new bar and grill named Maestros’. He’ll retain his job in Olfen and continue to serve his country in the National Guard, this is just one more adventure for the astute educator and businessman to venture into.
Recently Zamora sat down to lunch with Tommy Turney at Acapulco Restaurant, the first meeting between two like-minded men, both looking to future. As Zamora has been doing in Olfen over the least few years, Turney has been working to rejuvenate Ballinger and move it forward since he was hired last August. One of Turney’s goals is to bring more business into Ballinger and that happened to coincide with Zamora wanting to venture into business. Turney spoke about Zamora after the lunch, “He’s a dynamic individual. I really enjoyed meeting him and having lunch with him because he has vision and he’s the guy who is always working toward success. We want to bring new businesses and people to the city and Zamora pretty much fits exactly the type of person we want. He’s dynamic, focused and honest.”
Zamora spoke about how he came up with the name, “Maestros’,” I am a great admirer of individuals who are masters of their craft, thus the name Maestros’. The most common definition refers to a distinguished musician, but it is term that may also be used for a great or distinguished figure in any area. The apostrophe after the “s” instead of before makes the name plural possessive. This is important, because to me this is a way of saying that each of our patrons is master in their particular craft.”
As to why the south Texas man decided to open a genuine bar and grill in Ballinger, Zamora said, “I’ve lived in Runnels County for over four years now, and during that period of time I quickly learned that the people of West Texas are inherently good-hearted kind individuals. I have also witnessed first-hand the positive direction that Ballinger and the surrounding communities strive for. It is my hope that Maestros’ Bar & Grill helps the community maintain the positive momentum already established.”
Zamora sees the bar and grill as something more than a simple business venture. He wants it to be a contributor to the community, “My vision is that Maestros’ can serve as a catalyst that brings friends and families together. We hope to provide a venue where people can enjoy good food and drinks while cheering for their favorite sport’s team(s). A place where old friends can drop in and play a game of chess, while listening to great music played at a reasonable volume. My vision is to create the restaurant that I wish already existed, and that I hope others will enjoy.”
The atmosphere that Zamora wants to create for Maestros’ includes getting people excited about the new dining location, “I believe they should be excited about Maestros’ because it will be a place that everyone can enjoy. The dining room is separated from the bar area, and we even have a decent size private room for groups that require a quieter environment. We are also proud of our close to 1,800 square foot mostly covered patio. We plan on hosting musicians, running karaoke, and other fun games/events that we hope will bring people together to have fun.”
The menu will be standard fare but will have exciting flavors and traditional items on the menu, ”Our menu will consist of mostly American foods and our specialty will be Wings. We will also have a variety of burgers, premium cut sandwiches, and pizzas. I think that the menu will be diverse enough that everyone will find something they will enjoy.”
The interior is a throwback to the Golden Age of cinema with classic black and white paint adorned by portraits of Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe and others. There will be wall between the bar and main dining area. There will be 10 large television sets in the location and he’s considering getting Wifi and providing it free to his guests.
The location will be opening in a couple of weeks or so when the renovations are completed. There is still some equipment to bring in and Zamora will make sure everything is in place and running smoothly and his staff is trained up before he ever considers opening the doors.
Maestros’ is located at 111 S. 8th Street.