By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Oct 07, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Jose Garza, owner of Conejito’s Place, 539 W. Virginia St., passed away this morning, according to restaurant staff. Garza -- whose nickname was "Conejito" which means "bunny" in Spanish -- had been battling cancer. He was 76.

Garza moved to Milwaukee from Monterrey, Mexico in 1956 and opened the restaurant in 1972. Garza was a common fixture at the Conejito's bar, and over the years he made friends with people from all over the world, including Cheech Marin, who remained one of his close friends throughout his life.

In a 2008 interview, Garza said, ""From day one, business has been good. It's always good because I have lots of power from above. Everyone who comes into Conejito's becomes my friend. They might first be a customer, but in time, they are a friend."

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.