By Raymond Neupert/South Metro Observer

WAUSAU, Wis. – Jalapenos Restaurant in Wausau is getting a new owner, but keeping the style.

Jalapenos has seen growth and success in the Third Street Lifestyle Center, but with former owners Jovani and Angela Gonzalez moving on to manage and run Patron in Weston, they’ve turned the business over to their manager.

Pedro Pineda has been in the Wausau area for 18 years.

“I came from Mexico City, and when I got here I fell in love with the city,” said Pineda, who has been the manager at Jalapenos for three years while also tending bar. “I’m scared, I’m excited, and I’m ready.”

Pineda said he’s looking to focus all that emotional energy into keeping the restaurant vibrant and successful. And he’s definitely a veteran when it comes to working in places like Jalapenos.

“I’ve been in this industry for ten years,” Pineda said. “I went from doing the dishes to busing tables, bartending and manager and now owner.”

He says it’s been an exciting transition to running the place and he’s got some great ideas.

“We’ve got some things in mind, and people are going to like it.”

Wausau’s Public Health and Safety committee on Monday voted to recommend approval of the transition of the business’s liquor license. That will come up for a vote at the next city council meeting.