Mariscos Altamar Restaurants
Mariscos Mission is to serve authentic Mexican seafood in a family fun environment, while continuing to innovate our menu to provide high-quality food and drinks. To serve authentic mexican seafood in a family fun environment, while continuing to innovate our menu to provide high-quality food and drinks.
Mariscos Altamar — “High Seas Seafood” – The Hernandezes Family moved to Albuquerque in 1993 and opened the first Mariscos in 1997.
Originally from the Mexican state of Durango, Hernandez migrated to the U.S. as a 17-year-old teenager with a couple of cousins. They headed for Southern California, and Hernandez got a job bussing tables in Pasadena.
“I worked 10 years at the restaurant in Pasadena, and another four years at a restaurant in Orange County,” Hernandez says. “I became head busboy in Pasadena and supervised six people. I worked hard to save money, because I always wanted to open my own business.”
Hernandez and his wife, Hermila, moved to Albuquerque in 1993. Hermila opened a beauty shop when they arrived. Hernandez opened Mariscos Altamar in 1997 with his own savings and some profits from Hermila’s business.
My wife has always shared my dream and fully backed me in starting the restaurant,” Hernandez says. “We’ve given ourselves over completely to making this business work.”
The family invested $10,000 to get started. They opened at Volcano Plaza on the corner of Coors and Fortuna near West Mesa High School.
“It was just me and one cook for the first two years,” Hernandez says. “At that time, there were only two other Mexican restaurants in the city that served seafood, and both of them were in the South Valley. That’s why I searched for a location on the Westside.”
Hernandez only reached about $15,000 in sales the first year. But the following year, revenue jumped to nearly $70,000 and has climbed steadily each year since. By 2004, the tiny Volcano Plaza location was bursting at the seams; the restaurant could only seat 65 people.
When the current location, which previously housed a New Mexican restaurant, became vacant in 2004, Hernandez jumped at the chance to buy it.
“The city population has grown a lot, so there are more people looking for good places to eat,” Hernandez says. “Mariscos Altamar already had a good reputation before we moved in here. … I’d say 70 percent of the growth is because we’re located right on Coors where everybody sees us.”
In October 2013, they opened their 2nd location in Los Lunas.
Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez: ”Hector and his family exemplify the American dream,” Chavez explains. “They came here with nothing and started a small restaurant, and now they employ 30 people. It’s a real success story that reflects the best of who we are.” Hernandez’s story also demonstrates the growing success of immigrant-run restaurants in Albuquerque that offer a taste of home to Mexicans and a spicy eating alternative for everybody else.
Hernandez: “We are serving top-quality food with highly personalized customer service is the real brawn behind Mariscos Altamar’s outstanding success.”