For a few years they had two restaurants Marcella’s 1 on Oakdale Road and then in 1977 Marcella’s #2 that opened on Tully Road, which is still there today. The Oakdale Road location is now longer a Marcella’s. Duran worked the fields and worked at a restaurant called Carmen’s Mexican Restaurant in McHenry Village where the idea of owning his own restaurant was born. “I inherited the restaurant,” expressed Marcella. “It was always his dream and he didn’t want us to suffer. My dad was awesome.”
“I have done it all,” stated Marcella. “I am not afraid of it. I have cooked in the kitchen. I scrubbed the bathroom and I will do whatever needs to be done. I have put in my hours. I have put in a lot of hours.”
Marcella’s daughter Emma, who was named after her grandmother, began working in the restaurant during her freshman year of high school. The restaurant is staying in the family with her daughter stepping up to help manage it. Her other two children work at the restaurant as well along with her sister, and brothers as they keep the restaurant a true family business. They consider the 18 employees part of their family. Besides the delicious food that is made with love for their customers, Marcella shared that they have stayed in business for so many years because they are consistent, stay on top of things, and have good customer service.
After her mother passed, Marcella and her father continued to work both restaurants then they closed the Oakdale Road restaurant in 1996. The days in the restaurant business began at a young age for Marcella, as she remembers helping her parents with anything they needed like pulling the stems from the chiles, busing tables, or being the hostess greeting people and answering the phone. The restaurant was named after her and as fate would have, it the restaurant was left to her after her father passed. This family affair continues as her daughter Emma is now managing the restaurant along with her mother. Marcella met her husband Jorge at the restaurant when he began working there as a busboy. They have been working side by side ever since.