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September 10, 2014

Faces of Fauquier: Boxer grew up in family eatery

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“Every time I go out to the store, I see someone I know,” Wilson Sanabria says. “This is a good place to raise a family.”
I love it! My uncle owns the restaurant, and I grew up playing here and washing dishes in the back. I kept asking my uncle when I could serve, and he said, ‘When you get a beard.' So I would look in the mirror every day. I like meeting new people and that keeps my job fun. We have customers who have been coming for years.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
He has passions for food and boxing.

Wilson Sanabria has served authentic Mexican food at El Agave in Warrenton for 11 years.

“My uncle owns the restaurant and I grew up playing here and washing dishes in the back . . . . I like meeting new people and that keeps my job fun. We have customers who have been coming for years,” Mr. Sanabria said.

A former amateur boxer, his grandfather trained him from age 6 to 17. He competed in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Puerto Rico.

A Fauquier High School graduate, he chose to settle here because of the quiet atmosphere.

“Every time I go out to the store, I see someone I know. This is a good place to raise a family.”

• Age
25

• Home
Warrenton

• Work
Server manager at El Agave in Warrenton, full-time for 11 years. Supervises the wait staff and serves customers himself.

• Why do you do the job?
I love it! My uncle owns the restaurant, and I grew up playing here and washing dishes in the back. I kept asking my uncle when I could serve, and he said, ‘When you get a beard.' So I would look in the mirror every day. I like meeting new people and that keeps my job fun. We have customers who have been coming for years.

• Family
Wife, Allison; son, Lenny, and daughter, Isabella. Uncle, Alfredo Villasenor. Two brothers and a sister. Parents who live in Pennsylvania.

• Education
Fauquier High School, 2007.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Off and on for 13 years.

• Why do you live here?
The only reason I don’t leave is because it’s quiet. Every time I go out to the store, I see someone I know. This is a good place to raise a family.

• How do you describe this county?
It’s a nice town with nice people. There is good history here. My wife and I went to the Old Jail museum on our first date.

• What would you change about Fauquier?

Nothing really. I like it the way it is.

• What do you do for fun?
Go to Old Town and parks, mostly Rady Park, with my kids.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I go to Applebee’s all the time.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I really don’t know, but I hope it stays the same.

• Favorite TV show?
“Sons of Anarchy”

• Favorite movie?

I like comedies. I’m mostly a big fan of Adam Sandler’s movies.

• Favorite book?
“A Child Called It” by Dave Pelzer.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Puerto Rico. I’ve always wanted to go to Jamaica and Africa.

• Favorite food?
Puerto Rican food. Empanadas (bread or pastry stuffed with meat, usually beef).

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
My uncle, Alfredo, always tells me to better myself and he always encourages me.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My cousin Chris, because he’s always been someone I’ve looked up to. He had two jobs and worked really hard and now he owns his own businesses.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Build my uncle a brand new restaurant, because that’s always been his dream. My wife does a lot of charity events, and I would help her with that. Donate a lot.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.


• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.


• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.


• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”


• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.


• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton






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