Jalisco Mexican Restaurant’s Journey
By Carleen Nelson-Nesvig, STN Writer
Jalisco Mexican Restaurant in Saline has a unique story of its inception, design, and construction. Raul Rojo, one of the partners, shares the journey of creating this restaurant, which is the third in their chain. The story behind the restaurant's name, the custom interior design, and the reasons for choosing Saline are all part of their remarkable story.
Jalisco is not their only restaurant. Rojo and his partners have two other restaurants in Fenton and Linden, but these locations go by the name Cancun Mexican Restaurant and Cantina. When they decided to open their third location in Saline, they faced a challenge due to the name confusion with another local restaurant in Saline, Cancun Grill.
To avoid this confusion, they decided to change the name to Jalisco. Even the name Jalisco holds a special meaning according to Rojo. “Jalisco is a state in Mexico, the birthplace of our parents, and is also known for being the origin of tequila. The restaurant was created to bring the authentic flavors of our heritage to Michigan.”
Saline was chosen as the location for their third restaurant because they already had a customer base from Saline traveling to their other locations in Fenton and Linden. The demand from Saline residents prompted them to consider opening a restaurant in the area. The response from the community was positive when Jalisco opened in July.
The unique custom furniture and design of Jalisco sets it apart from their other restaurants. The custom-made furniture is the result of an encounter with a former employee from the company they used for the first restaurant. He had started his own business and offered to provide customized furniture, which led to the distinctive interior look of Jalisco.
Rojo and one of his partners took on the task of designing and constructing the interior themselves. Rojo said, “It took us three months to finish the interior. We worked every day to transform the building into the beautifully designed restaurant it is today.” This hands-on approach ensured that every detail met their vision and standards.
Regarding the food, Jalisco and its employees pride themselves on delivering high-quality, authentic Mexican cuisine. Their secret recipe for chorizo has been with the family for over 17 years. Rojo is one of the few people who knows the recipe, and he personally oversees the kitchen to ensure that each meal lives up to their high standards.
Jalisco's commitment to delivering a great dining experience goes beyond just the food. Rojo shares that he and his partners want their customers to feel like they're part of the family when they visit. “Our food is made with love. In a previous job I had a supervisor who always told me he had my back. That meant everything to me. Today I have a dedicated staff of 18 employees, including four chefs, who work hard to provide top-notch service. I have their backs, they have mine,” said Rojo.
The restaurant is open Monday thru Saturday, from 11 am to 10 pm, and Sundays from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, making it convenient for customers to enjoy their authentic Mexican flavors and signature cocktails, including the famous Jalisco Margarita.
Jalisco Mexican Restaurant is located at 1375 E. Michigan Avenue, in Saline Michigan. Additional information can be found on Jalisco’s Facebook page. Phone contact for the restaurant is: (734) 291-0302
Photos by Carleen Nelson-Nesvig