After Long Delay El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant Finally Set to Open
Hungry for la comida Mexicana? If you’re a fan of Mexican food, you’ll be pleased to know that El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant on North Atherton Street is finally opening for business.
A “coming soon” sign has been posted outside for the past several months. You’ve probably been wondering when “soon” was going to happen.
Turns out that renovations were delayed because of the manager’s soccer accident in December.
While playing with an indoor soccer league in Johnstown, Gustavo Rubio broke his tibia and femur. He‘s part owner and manager of El Jalisco and is in charge of getting everything geared up for operation. If it weren’t for his leg injury, the restaurant would’ve already been opened.
“I knew immediately that my leg was broken because my foot was just hanging,” says Rubio, who travels to Johnstown every week to play soccer.
After four months of recovery he’s back preparing to open El Jalisco, which will begin serving customers in August.
The unique name for the restaurant was inspired by a state in Mexico that’s known for its tequila and margaritas. The area is also considered the birthplace of Mariachi music.
“I’m the one who is doing everything. The paint. The renovation. I did it myself with some friends helping me,” says Rubio, who’s part-owner of the business. Rubio and his partner already operate Rey Azteca, the Mexican restaurant on Benner Pike.
Last year, they signed a contract to move into the building that used to house Otto’s Brewery Pub. Rubio says the décor in El Jalisco is more festive than at Rey Azteca. You may have noticed the electric colors used to paint the exterior. The dining table and seating were imported straight from Mexico.
“We just wanted to do something different,” says Rubio.
El Jalisco will have the same menu as Ray Azteca, which opened in 2010. The popularity of the first restaurant spurred this new business venture. “We know we have a lot of customers on this side of town,” Rubio says.
According to the owners, business is booming at Ray Azteca, even though the restaurant is BYOB. El Jalisco will also be a BYOB establishment.
“I think that is one of things that make us unique. To have customers waiting 30-40 minutes for a seat without a liquor license says something.”