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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Taquerio La Juanita opens doors in downtown SL

Thursday, April 18, 2002

New restaurant ready to offer patrons wide variety of Mexican tatses, 3 levels coming

Patrons of downtown Storm Lake were able to start heading south of the border to satisfy their appetites last week, as a new authentic Mexican restaurant opened its doors to the public only six days ago.

Taquerio La Juanita is the newest store to arrive on the Lake Avenue scene, and will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

The business replaces the Oriental Express, which left town earlier this month, and the new Mexican diner inherited the Asian eatery's kitchen, dining room and multi-level building.

Taquerio La Juanita is the first Mexican restaurant to appear on the Lake Avenue scene, and owner Victor Bautista said he has been pleased with the reception he has received from members of the Storm Lake community in his first week of business.

"The turnout has been very good so far," Bautista said. "We've only been open for a few days, but we have had a lot of people who have come through and tried our food. We're very excited about that."

The restaurant will offer patrons a variety of items, including popular choices such as tacos, burritos and chimichangas.

However, it will also have a menu filled with chicken faquitas, quesadillas, nachos, fried fish, fish fillets, enchilladas, beef steak, tostados and grilled beef.

Bautista said he thinks that variety will enable everyone's tastes to be satisfied and will give Storm Lake residents a chance to enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine.

"This isn't plain fast food," Bautista said. "This is good, authentic Mexican food that is served quickly. This is something more than 'Americanized' fast food."

Bautista, who is originally from the city of Guadalajara in the province of Jalisco in Mexico, arrived in the United States when he was 15 years old, and has been north of the Rio Grande for the past 20 years.

He said food has been in his family for as long as he can remember.

"My family has always been in the business of cooking," Bautista said. "Being able to cook and make food has just been passed on down to me from the rest of my family. It's something that I enjoy doing very much."

In addition to the restaurant, Bautista has applied for a liquor license, which he will use to operate a bar on the second level of the building. There are also tentative plans for a nightclub to appear in the basement section of the building in the future.

For now, however, the restaurant is Bautista's primary concern, and he wants those in town to come in and enjoy the food he prepares.

"We just want people to come in, order food and share company with their friends," Bautista said. "We're happy to be in Storm Lake."