Commentary: Tex Mex is Back!

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, December 7, 2007

Restaurant owner Griselda Barajas was 7 months pregnant when the city of Sacramento evicted her from Texas Mexican, the eatery she and her family had operated in downtown Sacramento for 14 years.

This week, at the restaurant’s reopening, she was holding her baby Grace, and is seven months pregnant with her second child. As Griselda told the crowd, “I never thought I would see this day,” she was choking back tears.

In returning, Griselda has defied the city’s redevelopment honchos. She’s teamed up with her old landlord Mo Mohanna, who’s embroiled in a fight with city officials over K street development. The city has threatened to take his property, including the building that houses Tex Mex, through eminent domain.

Barajas husband complained, “They’re bickering over millions. It took just $85,000 to put Tex Mex back in place. We just want our shot.”

And they deserve to have it. For years, the family invested in a tattered section of downtown when no one else would. They built a loyal clientele, selling good food at reasonable prices. But they didn’t fit the city’s vision for the new downtown – so they were nudged aside.

Tex Mex is now back in their old location, and Griselda says they are here to stay. I hope so.


Ginger Rutland writes for The Sacramento Bee opinion pages.