.Cowboy’s Corner Café

Juan Diaz lived the ultimate restaurant version of the American dream, going from dishwasher to owner. Diaz says he learned a little from every place he worked, gaining valuable industry knowledge along the way. Originally born in Aguas Calientes, Mexico, he came to Santa Cruz in 1995 to find consistent work and a better life.

When he saw a “for lease” sign at a perfect location in Watsonville 16 years ago, he seized the opportunity to open Cowboy’s Corner Café, the name inspired by his kids. The Western theme runs throughout,  including the décor (much of it donated by the customers themselves).

 Breakfast favorites include classic homemade biscuits and gravy, chicken-fried steak and made-from-scratch “best in town” buttermilk and blueberry pancakes. For lunch, daily specials include Wednesday’s chicken stir-fry, as well as daily picks like hamburgers on an onion bun, club sandwiches, a variety of melts and the Fiesta Salad. Closed Mondays, hours are 6am-2pm every other day.

Tell me about your immigration?

JUAN DIAZ: I came here at age 12 looking for a better life just like many others. I was scared because I was leaving my family behind, but many of my friends said there were lots of jobs here. So that inspired me to take the journey, and I knew that if I worked really hard that I could create a better life for myself. Now that I look back, I’m glad I made the choice to come here. I like to take chances and that’s how I got to where I am.

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What was it like starting your own business?

JD: In the beginning, I was a little nervous because there were a lot of things to put together in order to open. But I had a few friends who gave me really good advice on what to do and how to get started. On our first day of business, we had many people waiting outside and we were busy from day one. Even though that was 16 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember being really proud of myself, because even right in the middle of a recession, we were able to do it and be successful.

Tell me about your immigration?

JUAN DIAZ: I came here at age 12 looking for a better life just like many others. I was scared because I was leaving my family behind, but many of my friends said there were lots of jobs here. So that inspired me to take the journey, and I knew that if I worked really hard that I could create a better life for myself. Now that I look back, I’m glad I made the choice to come here. I like to take chances and that’s how I got to where I am.

What was it like starting your own business?

JD: In the beginning, I was a little nervous because there were a lot of things to put together in order to open. But I had a few friends who gave me really good advice on what to do and how to get started. On our first day of business, we had many people waiting outside and we were busy from day one. Even though that was 16 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember being really proud of myself, because even right in the middle of a recession, we were able to do it and be successful.

946 Main Street, Watsonville, 831-761-8996; cowboycornercafe.com  

Tell me about your immigration?

3 COMMENTS

  1. We have dined at Cowboys for years now is the best family feeling home cooked food no matter what you order, before the pandemic they had fresh salsa and the best homemade blackberry jelly I hope they bring it back I would buy it by the jar if possible, if you are in the area it is a definite must eat place on the list. My favorite is not on the menu it is “The Corral Omlet” pure deliciousness.. thank you cowboys for being so warm and inviting and having the most delicious food around…..

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