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Mexico Lindo sign is up at Fitger’s

I noticed last week that the sign is up outside the Fitger’s Brewery Complex for the Mexico Lindo restaurant. Any word on an opening date? Anyone?

In other Mexico Lindo related news, don’t go to the Cloquet location on Friday. I’m predicting the place will be packed like never before. Denfeld plays Hermantown for the Section 5A hockey championship at the Cloquet Area Recreation Center at 7 p.m. I’m sure I’m not the only one planning a pregame meal.

40 Comments

zra

about 10 years ago

I like this. Edge and I will be hitting this up soon. Real soon.

edgeways

about 10 years ago

Not sure when it opens but gotta say for me this is the most anticipated new restaurant in Duluth. I like Hanabi quite a lot, but nothing screams more to me than a good restaurant in that spot in Fitgers, with that view. (Was wishing it was open last week, actually.)

Calk

about 10 years ago

Yeah, I love that view -- can hardly wait to sit on that deck.

adam

about 10 years ago

"April" is what I've heard.

ironic1

about 10 years ago

If they say "April," they really mean May.  

And if they mean "May," June is reasonable.  

And if June is reasonable, then we're probably talking August.

Sherman

about 10 years ago

The thing I don't understand is why does it always have to be a mexican restaurant in that space?  Is there something in the lease that says any restaurant there has to have a south of the border flavor to it?  I just love the thought process that says, "Hmmmmm, Mexican restaurants have failed here before, but dammit this time will be different!  We will have even more sombreros on the wall and maybe a pinata hanging from the ceiling!  We're sure to succeed!"

@ndy

about 10 years ago

the Fitger's website says March, though I highly doubt that will happen: http://www.fitgers.com/subpage.php?page=Whats+New.

Sherman, Mexico Lindo doesn't compare with Chi Chi's or Baja Billy's. If Mexico Lindo can't succeed in that spot than I doubt anything can.

Sherman

about 10 years ago

@ndy, I know Mexico Lindo is a good restaurant, but that will not ensure success.  The problem many restaurants have is trying to fill a niche that the area doesn't need.  I'm not saying a Mexican restaurant in that space is destined for failure, but history does suggest that a Mexican restaurant in that space isn't necessarily a great fit.  Also, to suggest that if Mexico Lindo fails, then every restaurant in that space will fail is ludicrous.  I'm simply suggesting that perhaps somebody think about a different approach to that space.

oldknifey

about 10 years ago

Chi Chi's in Duluth was actually a success. It's the entire corporation that failed (or so I've heard).

dbrewing

about 10 years ago

Wasn't that Chi-Chi's successful? I've been told that they went out of business because the entire chain did, not because that store failed. This could be wrong, but I've heard it from multiple sources.

Chris

about 10 years ago

The only Mexican restaurant that has failed in that spot has been Baja Billy's.  The Chi Chi's that was there was the top one in the chain for several years.  The franchise closed throughout the United States. Baja Billy's moved in pretty soon after Chi Chi's closing if I remember right.  Hoping to capitalize on the success of the previous tenant I'm sure.  And the fact the place needed little remodeling since it already had a Southwest theme probably didn't hurt.  So when you look at it Mexican restaurants are actually batting .500 in that space and Lindo is about 150 times better than Baja Billy's to boot.  I think they have better than a fair shot.

adam

about 10 years ago

I'd be more worried about the $14,000 / month rent.

Adam S

about 10 years ago

If the Duluth area is in need of any niche to be filled, it's a Mexican restaurant.  If the Mexico Lindo in Duluth is 75% as good as the one in Cloquet, it's going to thrive.  I'm just keeping my fingers crossed this isn't a situation where the original is fantastic and the second location is significantly less than (read: Hell's Kitchen)

Shane

about 10 years ago

Baja Billy's had mediocre food and bad service. They might have survived with better service. Last time I was there I actually had to ask for a fork...

Jeepers

about 10 years ago

I never heard anything good about Baja Billys, and have not been in there since it was Chi Chis.  Based on what I heard about their food and service it just never appealed to me.  Chi Chis to me was like a Perkins, only they served Mexican food.  It was never that great, but never that bad either.  I ate there maybe once a year back in the day.  I drive down to Cloquet about once every other month for Mexico Lindo.  If the food and service is on par with that location I for one will be there on a pretty regular basis.

bluenewt

about 10 years ago

We phoned the Cloquet location last weekend and asked when the new one was opening, and they said, "A couple of weeks."

dbrewing

about 10 years ago

Thanks for the support Adam S!!

mevdev

about 10 years ago

I'm very excited by this.


Any new restaurant in Duluth is at least guaranteed 3 months of solid patronage. Duluthians LOVE new restaurants. If they don't succeed by then, they are destined to fail.


The view from that space is marvelous, but the location is not. It is hard to find and advertising to people on the lakewalk is pointless unless it is July or August.

Barrett Chase

about 10 years ago

People from all over the area travel to Cloquet to seek out Mexico Lindo, so I don't see why it being tucked away in a corner at Fitger's will deter anyone. It has a definite cult following.

huitz

about 10 years ago

I don't get it.  Do people like the Cloquet spot because it's hip or is it the sign is pretty?

I also gravitated due to the hype.  Been there twice.  Good service.  Food seriously mediocre.  I'm guessing many of these Lindo groupies also think Hacienda del Sol is the shit.  Perhaps I continue to order the wrong thing.  I will try again, but have trepidations.

It was better than Chi Chi's or Little Angie's, though.  Never even bothered with Baja Billy's food.  I had one drink at Billy's; a margarita that was actually a supersaturated sugar solution.  It may have been the bar tender, but eying the dishes, I decided to never return.

bluenewt

about 10 years ago

I like the food at Mexico Lindo and do not like the food at Hacienda del Sol. I've had better, but I think Mexico Lindo is the best Mexican food north of the Cities. Like huitz, a friend of mine who's gone a couple of times has been disappointed. Maybe you have to order the right thing? My disappointed friend had tamales, which I haven't tried.

Andrew M

about 10 years ago

There were a few years that the Chi-Chi's in Fitger's was their most profitable in the nation.  Baja Billy's did not do well (the owners were the folks who sold the Buena Vista). 

Babzilla

about 10 years ago

Yeah, we are heading to Fitgers this weekend and was hoping Mexico Lindo would be open for this event.  Doesn't sound like it will be. Did not like Baja Billys.  :(

digit3

about 10 years ago

Does anybody have any updates with regards to the opening?

I have been woefully out of the local news loop lately but chatted with somebody today who told me that the delayed opening of the restaurant was due to fire code restrictions and other road blocks that are rumoured to have been put in place by the Paulucci clan. 

Anybody else hear similar dirt? Sure hope that the Canal Park contingent doesn't have that much influence on the rest of town!

Danny G

about 10 years ago

I wouldn't be shocked at the Palucci's trying to stop this joint from opening, with Angie's being their strongest competition.

Let me go on a Little Angie's rant here.  A couple of Sunday's ago the wife and I wanted some Mexican food for lunch.  We didn't feel like driving up to Maya and Hacienda was closed.  So, against our better judgment we went to Angie's.  It is the lousiest, most processed excuse for food in town.  And it's a rip-off.  Looking at the tequila list I noticed Don Julio 1942...my personal favorite.  Cost: 65 bucks a shot!  At about a hundred bus a bottle (which I'm sure they get cheaper) their mark-up is beyond ridiculous.
  
It sucks too, since I don't hate the Sports Garden and I like Bellisio's quite a bit.

digit3

about 10 years ago

I sure hope that we have somewhat of a free market working here and that the good old boys can't exercise such influence just because they have proven (read: tax generating for Donny) businesses.

I agree with your sentiments about Little Angies. I have been there two times and will not return. I'd almost say that the Burrito Union has better food but they're a toss up IMHO.

Calk

about 10 years ago

I never eat at Little Angies, it's beyond bad. That would indeed suck if the Pauluccis were trying to prevent other entrepreneurs from opening in a pretty wide-open market. It's like, don't they have enough business, why can't others get in on the act. I just hope Mexico Lindo bartenders know how to mix a good Cadillac margarita.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

While we're at it, let's all comment on the rumors we've heard about Digit3, no matter how improbable they may seem and despite the lack of any evidence whatsoever.

Chris

about 10 years ago

I'm no big fan of the whole Grandma's Cabal so I'm not going to stick up for the Man to the extent Paul is doing.  But in fairness the Duluth Fire Department and Building Code Dept. don't need any prompting from the Palucci's to be overly difficult.

adam

about 10 years ago

"... road blocks that are rumoured to have been put in place by the Paulucci clan."

This doesn't even make any sense.

Piglet

about 10 years ago

Nothing like a good conspiracy theory to keep Duluth chugging along. I think the Grandma's cartel has enough to worry about without hand wringing, heavy sighs & rumored strong-armed tactics regarding competition. Competition is the best form of flattery and should (should being the operative word) make you strive to do better. I'm no fan of Angie's and other than the wine, Bellisio's is far overrated. With all the chains opening new eateries in our area, I welcome the opportunity to support someone local. Bienvenidos Mexico Lindo!

-Berv

about 10 years ago

"I think the Grandma's cartel has enough to worry about without hand wringing, heavy sighs & rumored strong-armed tactics regarding competition."

How do you know that?

"Competition is the best form of flattery and should (should being the operative word) make you strive to do better." 

In a perfect world maybe. Tell that to John D. Rockefeller.

Piglet

about 10 years ago

@Berv...don't know for certain, just an assumption. And, I'm trying to stay out of the conspiracy pool.

People are dining out less and with all the new eateries opening, I would guess that the group at Grandma's are working on maintaining & improving what they have - across all properties.

pH

about 10 years ago

Angies is Tex-Boyardee, has its own niche.

tamara

about 10 years ago

If there were some sort of restaurateur "good old boy's" club (i.e., the Palucci, et al empire) at work here, we wouldn't have Maya. Or Va Bene. Or Valentini's. All of those establishments compete directly for business with Grandma's, Angies, etc.

Jim paul

about 10 years ago

The pauluci's have no pull with the fired dept or officials! Do you think the anti union owners of grandmas and the dfl union fire inspectors are colaborating? Get back to reality! They play by the rules and comply to all city codes! The reason Lindo isnt open is the same reason their food is so authentic and good! BUSTED by the FBI For illegals, u can pull that off in small town Cloquet, now the heat is on them. Rumor has it half the staff has been deported. And working for half min wage. Great for local workers! Food and drink is amazing, but there's a reason "no hablo englis"! Angies happy hour is still the best in town 3-6 half price everything... Ie corona $2.25 a bottle or grey goose for $3.13 a shot reg price drinks are spendy, but so is canal! With the $14000 a month rent what will stuff cost if the new lindo opens, and they have to pay $7.25 an hour!!!    ps chi chis duluth was a gold mine-they went under as a natl chain when 3 of there stores food on the east coast had salmonela outbreaks in the green onions 3 people died in 2003 as a result. The families sued them and hence no more chi chis anywhere not just Duluth... All this said i love cloquet Lindo and tge owner Pedro, and maybe this is all a rumor ;)

Jim paul

about 10 years ago

There is no good ol boys club or grandmas mafia!!!! If there was i'de be in it!

Bonnie Gauthier

about 10 years ago

After visiting the Cloquet location, I can hardly wait for the Fitger's location to open. We come from Thunder Bay, where we have no Mexican restaurant (except for a local taco fast food place) If you've never been to Mexico Lindo, you are in for a TREAT!!

edgeways

about 10 years ago

Cool. I had walked by yesterday and they where not, but it was bustling, so I was at least glad things seemed to be happening. Woo! Drinks on the deck.

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