After delay, El Jalisco opens on North Atherton Street

After a temporary delay in opening, El Jalisco, a Mexican restaurant owned and operated by the same family who owns Rey Azteca, made its grand opening Monday night on North Atherton Street.

Owner Gustavo Rubio said the restaurant was planned to open in January, but an injury he suffered after a soccer game last year led him to delay the project.

Rubio said he broke his leg in Johnstown, had surgery in September, and recovery took about six months.

“It kind of backed things up, and I had to put my priorities on my health first,” he said.

In March, spokeswoman Jen Palacios said El Jalisco was expected to open by midsummer. Palacios said the scheduling this time was “on course.”

“We had to do a lot of planning and get the restaurant just the way we want it,” Rubio said.

Rubio added that the food, furniture and decorations in the restaurant are all homemade. He said the furniture and decor are imported from Jalisco, one of Mexico’s states and for which the eatery is named.

“This isn’t a place like Taco Bell,” he said. “We have real Mexican food and prepare early to make sure our customers are getting the best.”

Work usually starts for Rubio and his employers at about 7:30 each morning.

Rubio and his family are from Mexico. Years ago, he said they uprooted to Texas, and three years ago, moved to central Pennsylvania.

“Authentic Mexican food is very common in Texas,” Rubio said. “When we came here, it was not, and we got into the businesses to introduce real Mexican food to Northerners.”

Rubio and Palacios said their family decided to open another Mexican restaurant to give people on the other side of town more options.

“We had good feedback with Rey Azteca and wanted to open a restaurant at another location,” Palacios said. “We want people to get accustomed to Mexican food all over town.”

El Jalisco is located at the old Otto’s Brewery location across from Redline Speed Shine on North Atherton Street.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Its phone number is 826-2362.