A Hispanic tienda (grocery store) at 1019 N. Bridge St. in Elkin is expanding into a restaurant.
The restaurant will open on Friday.
The owner of El Ahorro expected the restaurant to be fully operational last November, but added expenses delayed the opening.
Proprietor Tirzo Ortiz said the most expensive part of the project was the hood installation and all the kitchen equipment.
“It took us back a bit because it had to custom fit into the space we have,” said Ortiz, “and we had to pay for it.”
According to Ortiz, the restaurant will be open each day of the week serving traditional Mexican cuisine for lunch and dinner until 9 p.m., but don’t expect a bloated menu.
“We factored that the costs for food should be kept down and affordable for families. That’s the most important thing,” said Ortiz. “With that, we have to have a menu of the most popular items and eliminate the dishes that wouldn’t sell as much.”
Married to Reyna Ortiz, who is the familiar face for customers on the convenience store side of the tienda, the couple made a decision that serving items such as groceries, fresh vegetables, meats and dairy products was the way to start.
“Now it’s a restaurant. It’s all hard work, but we’re proud,” said Reyna Ortiz.
Final touches are being put on the restaurant appearance. With seating for 40 guests, Ortiz said he is going to place art on the walls and have a section for children, too. “I’m thinking about a chalk board where kids can solve math questions or riddles. I want something educational for them,” said Tirzo Ortiz.
Ortiz said that in his restaurant, visitors will not find any images that portray a Mexican leaning on a cactus wearing a sombrero along with a bottle of tequila.
“I hate to see such negative portrayals,” said Ortiz.
Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.