MARSHALL - A new restaurant will soon be open for business along East College Drive in Marshall.
According to Yury "Judy" Leon, the new El Rancho Mexican Restaurant in Marshall is an expansion of the Montevideo-based restaurant with the same name.
Both establishments are expected to be family-operated.
"We wanted to expand because a lot of people from Marshall come here (to Montevideo) and eat," said Leon, who will co-manage the restaurant with her sister, Vanessa Leon. "We're pretty excited about it."
Having found the Tex-Mex niche to be successful in Montevideo, Leon said the El Rancho in Marshall will feature a very similar menu to that in Montevideo.
"We have about 200 items, so it's a pretty big menu," she said. "We do pretty good in Montevideo. A lot of our clients are used to our food and they like our food, so we aren't going to change."
Leon expects that margaritas and fajitas will be two of the new restaurant's specialties.
When searching for a site for the new restaurant, Leon said that the building, which was previously Naomi's Steakhouse, though many will remember as the former Chalet building, had a lot of appeal to it.
"It's a really good place," Leon said. "Structure-wise, it's pretty good. Location-wise, it's a pretty nice place to be."
While the layout is much different, Leon said the floor space is similar to the El Rancho in Montevideo.
"I think the main floor will fit up to 500 people, so it's big," she said. "There are also two bars that we can use."
The biggest challenge so far has been the massive cleanup within the building's interior.
"It was super dirty, so cleaning up has been the major part," Leon said. "The business has been sold for 10 years, so there was a lot of work to do."
As soon as the clean-up is completed in the near future, a fresh coat of paint is expected to find its way onto the walls.
"It'll have a new look," Leon said. "We'll also make sure everything is working fine, like the furnace, everything we need for a business to run. The health department wants everything right, so we're thinking we may be open in two months."
While family members will provide the bulk of the service, the El Rancho Mexican Restaurant is planning to hire additional waiters and waitresses from the Marshall area.
"It's a big town, so it shouldn't be a problem," Leon said.
Hours are likely to mirror the El Rancho in Montevideo, where the restaurant opens for lunch at 11 a.m. every day.
"Lunch runs till 3 p.m. and then dinner runs from 3-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Sunday," Leon said. "On Friday and Saturday, we close at 10 p.m."
Leon also said that she was fairly certain the new restaurant would have extended weekend hours.
"We get a lot of people from Marshall," she said. "They're pretty excited that we're coming to Marshall."