Poco Guitterrez gets out of someone else's kitchen and into her own.

Living La Vida Poco 

Poco Guitterrez gets out of someone else's kitchen and into her own.

The last time I saw Lorenza "Poco" Guitterrez was in 2004, when she was the chef at the little restaurant that bore her name, Poco's Latin American Grille at 3605 Broadway. Guitterrez ran the kitchen while waitress-manager Hope Dillon operated the front of the house.

That combination ended earlier this year when restaurateur Sean Cummings, who had formerly owned The Grille on Broadway in that same spot, returned to open a satellite of Boca Boca, a restaurant he'd started in Oklahoma City. Guitterrez had been the chef at The Grille on Broadway before Cummings left for Oklahoma, but she didn't stay at 36th and Broadway this time around. She wanted to run her own place, both kitchen and dining room.

Opportunity came knocking when she least expected it. She was eating breakfast with her infant granddaughter at the old Waid's restaurant at 3063 Southwest Boulevard. "The owner was there and starting talking to me about wanting to get out of the restaurant business," Guitterrez says. "And we started negotiating right then and there."

Taking over a 1960s-vintage diner might not be everyone's idea of nirvana, but it is for Guitterrez. "This has been a dream come true for me," she says, sitting in the sunny, spotlessly clean restaurant now called Poco's on the Boulevard. She's running the business with her brother, Carlos Llamas. Beyond the name change, they haven't made drastic changes to the old, lunch-only Waid's.

Guitterrez dreams of serving dinners someday, but that requires a liquor license, so she's sticking with breakfast and lunch fare for now. The old Waid's favorites — malted waffles, blueberry pancakes, French toast, omelets — are still served, but Guitterrez also offers Mexican breakfasts.

Guitterrrez was known for the way she prepared fresh fish at The Grille on Broadway, and she has included tilapia on the "homestyle dinners" part of the menu, along with country-fried steak and a $10 Kansas City Strip.

"There's a lot I want to do here," she says. "Now it's my turn."

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