Campuzano reopens Waxahachie location

Popular Tex-Mex restaurant resumes service after repairs from February 2020 fire

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
Campuzano Mexican Food has reopened its Waxahachie location on U.S. 77 North, a year and a half after the popular restaurant located in a historic house was damaged in a fire.

A popular Waxahachie restaurant has quietly reopened, a little more than a year and a half after flames damaged the historic house that the eatery is located in.

Campuzano Mexican Food held a soft reopening on Saturday at its location at 2167 U.S. Highway 77 North. But already by Monday, the word was spreading on social media among fans of the award-winning Tex-Mex destination.

The reopening of the local Campuzano was a long time in the making, largely due to the age of the structure it was housed in: a two-story former farmhouse that was built in the 1800s. The COVID-19 pandemic that peaked last fall and winter before vaccinations became widely available also played a delaying role.

The restaurant prides itself on its fiery Diablo salsa, but the metaphor got a little too real on Feb. 9, 2020. Waxahachie Fire-Rescue responded to a call at the restaurant and nearby Red Oak Fire-Rescue also responded. The fire was contained and all employees and customers escaped safely, but the building suffered smoke and water damage.

Waxahachie Fire-Rescue personnel work to extinguish a fire that broke out in February 2020 at Campuzano Mexican Food on North U.S. 77. The fire was contained within a wall, and all customers and employees got out safely.

A few weeks after the fire, restaurant manager Jimmy Case told the Daily Light that an architect was working on a design to enlarge the kitchen and that insurance would cover the damage.

“We would love to start construction today, but we don’t necessarily have that ability because everyone else gets to look at it,” Case said then. “Because it’s an older building, they may want to evaluate that we’re up to code on everything or if there are changes we may need to make.”

Case said at the time he hoped it would take two months to reopen the restaurant.

Of course, another unforeseen calamity would strike within weeks — the onset of COVID-19, which shut down almost all of the dine-in restaurant industry for months.

Campuzano Mexican Food was nominated among the 2019 Best of Ellis County finalists in six categories and was voted the winner in four: Best Mexican Restaurant, Best Caterer, Best Enchilada and Best Margarita. The restaurant was also nominated for Best Service at Restaurant and Best Chips ‘N Salsa.

The eatery also touts its awards from the 2016 Waxahachie Media Group Reader’s Choice Awards.

Campuzano’s original location opened in Midlothian in 1999, then a second location in Waxahachie followed in 2002. The company also has locations in Cedar Hill and the Oak Lawn neighborhood of Dallas.

Co-founder Luis Campuzano, whose restaurant still bears his name, sold his share of the mini-chain to partner Brian Harding in 2013.