Hacienda Vieja on the move

Mexican restaurant now located at west mall entrance

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Dagoberto Mendoza, an employee at Hacienda Vieja Mexican Restaurant, prepares to deliver lunch to guests of the restaurant on Tuesday.

As some tenants move out of Crossroads Mall during ongoing development at the site, at least one business has found a more convenient location inside the mall for the time being.

Hacienda Vieja Mexican Restaurant, a tenant at the mall for the past eight years, has moved from the east side to the west side. It occupies the space formerly held by Chen Garden.

Raul Guitron, part owner and manager of the restaurant, said the move took place from Jan. 14-17. Guitron co-owns the restaurant with Salvador Lepe, of Perry. Both grew up in the same region of Mexico.

“We opened here Jan. 21,” he said. “People like it here. There’s more room and it’s on one floor. We moved here because there is the construction going on. And people like here because there is more parking and they can come into the main entrance. It’s more visible.”

Hacienda Vieja is a Mexican family restaurant serving authentic Mexican dishes and a variety of mixed drinks.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Raul Guitron, part owner and manager of Hacienda Vieja Mexican Restaurant, holds a pair of margaritas offered at the restaurant. Hacienda Vieja has moved to the west side of Crossroads Mall in the former location of Chen Garden.

Fajitas, chimichangas, enchiladas, burritos and tacos, are all available on the menu.

The lunch menu includes specialty dishes such as pollo a la crema, which is strips of chicken breast sauteed with onions and mushrooms in a delicious cream sauce.

Guitron spent much of his childhood in Portland, Oregon, where his family owns 20 restaurants.

He grew up in the business, starting as a dishwasher. In his 24 years of working, he has served as a waiter, bartender and cook.

“I like my job,” he said. “I like to talk with the different people. I like being friendly with the people. And the people in this area are nice.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Pollo a la crema is one of the popular lunch items at Hacienda Vieja Mexican Restaurant. The dish features strips of chicken breast sauteed with onions and mushrooms in a delicious cream sauce.

Making a good drink or a fine meal are both rewarding.

“I like to work in the bar for making good drinks and I like to work in the kitchen, but sometimes I have to decide,” he said. “I like making the food like a chef and at the bar I always make the same drinks taste good.”

Guitron isn’t sure exactly how long Hacienda Vieja will remain in its current location, but he expects to be there for at least a year.

And regardless of how the new mall takes shape, Guitron anticipates being a part of it.

“A lot of people are helpful,” Guitron said. “If they say you need something else, we can help you. A lot of people say they can help us. They don’t want us to go back to Portland. They say you have to stay here with your family.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
The tables and booths at Hacienda Vieja have a different shine to them under the lighting in the new location of the restaurant. The restaurant moved from the east side of Crossroads Mall to the west side, right next to the main entrance.

Although it was quite a bit of work to move, Guitron is pleased with the new environment.

“It took us three days to move,” he said. “Tables and everything but the kitchen. We moved everything and people like it. It’s the same table but people say it looks better.”

“This place — we have worked very hard.” Guitron added.

The lighting inside the restaurant is brighter than its previous location.

Hacienda Vieja employs about 12 people.

For the first time, starting on Monday, Hacienda Vieja will offer buffet. The buffet will be available Monday through Friday.

“We have the space, so we can do it now,” Guitron said.


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