WAXAHACHIE

El Mexicano Grill, a trendy downtown Mexican restaurant in Waxahachie, can now serve even more families, fajitas and ice-cold margaritas with a second location in north Waxahachie.

The additional bar and grill officially opened its doors Wednesday morning in Suite 800 of the shopping center located at 1620 North US Highway 77 across from Buffalo Wild Wings.

“We realized we were running out of room for the customers downtown and we wanted more room for the families to provide better customer service,” El Mexicano Grill partner Nelly Mendoza relayed. “And a lot of people don’t know us downtown. So the ones for that moved [to Waxahachie] we want to provide a location for people arriving on this side of town.”

Even though the menu and drinks remain the same, the restaurant takes on a more modern look than the first location. Downtown has a more mom-and-pop feel, while the new place is an open dining room with new chairs and tables with metal, star accent lights hanging from the ceiling. Pressed-tin art hangs on the wall.

Their grandfather, Vicente Rocha, who suffers from severe arthritis, inspired the Mexican-imported art.

“For therapy they have him make art out of foil, so that’s what inspired the art,” shared El Mexicano Grill partner Nancy Jaimes.

The restaurant is equipped with a to-go menu, a smaller but-still-full bar and a dining room that can seat about 150 patrons.

Mendoza added that the space inside the shopping center was just four walls of blank canvas when they purchased the building, and even had to install all of the plumbing and electrical work. But, the most significant obstacle was patience.

The initial process of contracts started three years ago, and life happened — such as engagements, weddings, family outings and family crisis.

“It’s meant to be now,” Mendoza said.

The downtown location opened in 2013 “so our family could work there. [...] our goal was to get our family a job,” Mendoza shared.

“It’s the people of Waxahachie that make us great,” she added. “Without the clientele, we wouldn’t make it. From day one everyone made us feel welcome.”

The downtown location is typically a packed house for lunch, dinner, and, of course, for happy hour margaritas. Mendoza credits the restaurant's success to the “kindness of the staff.” She also assured the hospitality at the north location would mirror downtown.

On July 11, the staff cut a red ribbon to mark the soft opening. Jaimes felt “butterflies and said the first day was "exciting."

With the new location geared toward families, the downtown spot will not see any changes. “We want to keep it the way it is as long as we can. We want to keep Waxahachie downtown, Waxahachie downtown,” Mendoza assured.

“Right now we want to get the business started and want to make everyone feel welcomed," she continued. "Our goal here is to make sure everyone feels as if they are at home and give great customer service and get this restaurant stable."

El Mexicano Grill will be open seven days a week, opening at 7 a.m. for breakfast. The family suggests migas and chilaquiles to start the day. The closing times are not finalized yet. The new El Mexicano is located at 1620 N. HWY 77 Suite 800 and can be reached at 214-980-1161.