Widower kept 12 children, restaurant together

October 20, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Solis, 92, is the owner of Taco Erendira, located at 3207 South Halsted in Bridgeport. He and his wife, Guadalupe, opened the Mexican restaurant in 1967. Guadalupe died in 1969, leaving Solis to run Taco Erendira- and take care of their 12 children.

"Well, taking care of the business and taking care of the family. Giving to the restaurant halftime and the rest of the time for the family," said Salvador Solis, founder Taco Erendira.

Salvador had a knack for cooking and combined his recipes with his mother's recipes and the restaurant began to make a few bucks. As his family grew up, the kids all worked behind the counter and in the kitchen.

"You go out and you buy a hundred pound bag of beans and a hundred pound bag of rice ... and then you're able to feed the kids for awhile," said Gabe Solis, number 8 of 12 kids.

"No, I didn't feel poor because we always had something to eat," said Gloria Delgado, number 5 of 12 kids.

Solis said since the beginning, the biggest sellers at Taco Erendira are the tacos and the burritos. They haven't sold a billion but they think maybe a million. It's the kind of stuff that keeps a family together.

"He always kept his family together. That's the one thing that has always been important to him," said Angelina Martinez, number 6 of 12 kids.

Counting the kids, grandkids and great-grandkids, Solis' family has swollen to 97. Every Sunday after mass as many as possible gather.

"Yeah all those kids. And if another woman would come along I might take it," laughed Solis.

For Solis, it's never been cheaper by the dozen, but it's certainly been richer.

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