East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Profile: Alex Gutierrez, owner of Alex Burgers

Alex Gutierrez was named after his father who owned the restaurant Alex Burgers. The younger Alex took over the business after his father passed away. Alex has pale skin and light brown eyes. He is a 57-year-old classic man who is very responsible and outstanding. He lives with his wife and three kids in the City of West Covina. Alex attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and majored in computer science. After graduating, he got a job fixing computers. He runs the restaurant on the side. His role in the restaurant is watching over the workers but he usually ends up helping them on the grill. The smoking stench of patty fills up my nose; I just have to buy one. Alex’s typical day starts with taking his kids to school. He then goes to work on Thursdays and weekends at Alex’s Burgers to review the workers hours and how they clock-in. At his other job, he fixes computers and adds a lot of programs to desktops.

Alex thinks the Latino Walk of Fame is special about East Los Angeles because it teaches life lessons about these people, and it is good to hear people with similar struggles so you do not feel like you are the only one. He believes that it is the only place you could go back to and see the names of people who made a difference. An example of this is Cesar E. Chavez who is so important to us that there is even a street named after him. He is talked about a lot in history as well. Alex feels that way because he sees how Hollywood stars have their own walk of fame. He says it must be important, but it should equal out. Alex sees himself as a part of the community because he provides great food that unites a lot of people, which is another reason why he likes working at the restaurant.

Alex stated that business at Alex’s Burgers has increased dramatically since they remodeled, and they have ongoing customers throughout the year. The reviews on Yelp were great, bringing more new customers. Growing up in East L.A. wasn’t that bad for Alex, who is from New York City. There are always busy streets. Kids go to school and adults go to work in the morning. One thing that Alex noticed was the transportation options increased. There are more bus lines and also more train stations. Transportation was a hard thing to get, especially if you didn’t have a car. He also saw a change in the bike lanes that were being added to the streets. Back in the day, people had to either ride their bikes on the sidewalk or on the very edge of the street. A lot of people were getting hit, so planners wanted to improve bike lanes to make them safer. Alex can relate to the impact of the bike lanes that were added because a friend of his passed away because of a hit and run. His friend, Victor, was a responsible man who was riding his bike to work and boom, he got hit because of the little amount of space for bikers. Alex also noticed an improvement in the East L.A. schools. Now, schools are starting to give out technology (iPads, tablets, etc.) and have faith in the students to be responsible for them. There is also a higher rate of students that are graduating.