South Bend El Rancho Viejo Mexican restaurant opens in Mishawaka


After two years of construction, Tequilas Jalisco in Granger was forced to close its indoor restaurant just months after it opened in December 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The owners tried to pivot, offering delivery and delivery services, but covering the costs for the 11,000 square foot space became overwhelming and they ultimately cut their losses.

Co-owner Fernando Hernandez said it took his breath away.

“It makes you want to give up and go and be done with it,” he said.

Closures:Here are the businesses in Michiana that closed and those that opened during the pandemic

But that wasn’t enough to keep them completely out of the restaurant game.

Hernandez – along with business partners and family members Guillermo Leon, Francisco Escamilla and David Lopez – opened El Rancho Viejo on Monday in the old Bob Evans building on Grape Road in Mishawaka. It will be the restaurant’s second location after what Hernandez says was a successful March opening of the group’s initial location in Goshen.

Like Tequilas Jalisco, the interior of the new restaurant is covered in hand-carved, vividly colored murals depicting Mexican history and landscapes.

However, Hernandez said the menu was different from the old restaurant.

Leon currently owns nine El Rancho Viejo locations in upstate New York and Hernandez said they were able to combine what’s on offer in New York and what they wanted to offer locally to create the new menu. with more tacos, burrito and fajitas. A popular option at the Goshen location is an El Rancho Viejo burrito with ground beef, chicken, rice, and beans that’s deep-fried and topped with nacho and pico de gallo cheese and offered with sides of carne asada, chicken taquitos and cheese quesadillas.

“Out of 10 people who go in there per day, five people order it,” Hernandez said.

El Rancho Viejo opened on Monday August 23 in Mishawaka.

The restaurant offers take-out and, for dinner, will offer beer and wine for the time being, but plans to offer wine-based margaritas.

The 5823 Grape Road location is a competitive area for a new Mexican restaurant with Hacienda, Salsa’s Mexican Grill, Puerto Vallarta, and the new location of Fiesta Tapatia, all a short drive away.

“It’s going to be tough here,” Hernandez said. “But as long as we provide good service and good food, we will be fine.”

Moving :Fiesta Tapatia moves to the former Charming Charlie space in Granger’s Heritage Square

And the group does not stop there. Currently, construction is underway in the old Panera building along Elkhart Road in Goshen to transform it into a third El Rancho Viejo location. The owners are also in lease negotiations for Woochi’s former location along Washington Street in downtown South Bend.

Hernandez said the majority of the capital used to fund the group’s aggressive expansion plans has come in part from the success of the Goshen location so far.

“It’s been open for five and six months and what we’re doing, instead of keeping all the money, we’re reinvesting it,” Hernandez said.

Co-owner Fernando Hernandez stands inside El Rancho Viejo in Mishawaka.  This will be the second location for the four-person property.

El Rancho Viejo will be open Monday through Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Did you hear?

New store of formal wear for men clothes opened inside the University Park shopping center. The store opened in the former Aldo shoe store, which closed in July. … Pink Pineapple Shop is moving to a new location this fall. The local women’s clothing store will move to 12670 State Road 23 in Granger, near Salsa’s. Owner Kelsie Noble plans to move in late September. … New children’s store buy buy baby will soon be opening a Granger store. The infant and child retailer is owned by Bed Bath and Beyond and sells merchandise associated with child care. It was not immediately clear where the retailer will locate in Granger, but a spokesperson said it plans to open by February 2022. A deputy store manager position is currently advertised on the websites. online job. The nearest buybuyBABY stores are in the Indianapolis or Chicago areas.

Contact Mary Shown at 574-235-6244 and [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @maryshownSBT and @marketbasketSBT.

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