DETROIT, Michigan – Tijuana’s Mexican Kitchen opens for business this week at 18950 Ford Road, approximately a half mile west of the Southfield Freeway in Detroit. For many area residents and businesses, it is a long awaited return of the original restaurant that served their favorite Mexican dishes from the mid 1990’s until 2003.
“I always loved our Ford Road location, but we moved to Lincoln Park when an opportunity came along to purchase a building at 1679 Dix,” said Marisa Garcia, Tijuana’s owner. In 2009, she expanded her business with a second location in Southgate, Tijuana’s Mexican Kitchen Express, to handle carry out and delivery orders.
Based on the success of the Lincoln Park and Southgate eateries, Garcia set her sights on a third restaurant. Together, with husband Steve Guzina, they contracted Tina Williams of QT Enterprises to develop a business plan. It was during this process that they learned the Ford Road location was available once again.
“Tina was a tremendous help and referred us to the Detroit Development Fund to secure financing that enabled us to expand,” said Garcia.
According to Erin Grant, senior lender for the Detroit Development Fund, a non-profit organization that provides loans and technical expertise to small businesses in Detroit, Tijuana’s met all their criteria.
“Two of our goals are helping minority and women-owned businesses in Detroit,” said Grant. “The success of Garcia’s other restaurants pushed her over the top to qualify for a loan.”
The Ford Road location, which had undergone an expansion in recent years by previous tenants, includes seating for 120 and two flat screen TVs in a full service bar with liquor license approval expected in the next few months.
“We’ll serve all our traditional Mexican dishes made with fresh local products including my family’s well known salsas and flour tortillas that are made on a manual press,” said Garcia. The Ford Road restaurant will also serve halal chicken to accommodate Arab American patrons.
Garcia added, “As soon as we installed our outdoor signage and before we opened for business, people were stopping by to find out if we were open. It’s a great feeling to be back.”
Garcia’s son Robert Garcia, II, will manage the restaurant’s day to day operations.
“When you have a family business, everyone gets involved in some way,” said Garcia. The couple’s other children include daughter Saya Purdy and son-in-law Mark Purdy and daughter Sophia Garcia.
Restaurant hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. To request catering, carry out or for more information, please call 313-982-1455.
More About Tijuana’s Mexican Kitchen
Tijuana’s Mexican Kitchen is a family-owned business founded by Marisa Garcia who was raised in southwest Detroit. Garcia opened her first full-service restaurant in 1995, after starting a catering business in 1991. In 2003, she moved her restaurant from Dearborn to Lincoln Park where it has grown with a rich variety of family recipes and award winning salsas. Garcia opened Tijuana Mexican Kitchen Express in Southgate in 2009 for carry out and delivery orders. For more details and to view menu selections, visit www.tijuanasmexicankitchen.com.