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Goshen family plans to open Mexican restaurant in Chamberlain neighborhood

Goshen’s Chamberlain neighborhood may get a new restaurant in a few months.

Goshen resident Virgelina Esparza and her family are working to open a Mexican restaurant, Menudos La China, at the corner of Bridge and North Eighth streets.

The Esparzas want to share the cuisine from their home state of Aguascalientes, Mexico, though it may take a few months to open as they seek fire and health inspection approvals.

“We want to offer something new here,” Esparza said.

The Esparzas plan to first open only for weekends and work up to offering inexpensive lunch on weekdays.

The Esparzas are in the process of buying a building at 100 N. Eighth St., which has been the site of a laundromat, a contractor’s office and a wholesale packaging and distribution business.The family gained approval Tuesday from Goshen’s Board of Zoning Appeals to open a restaurant on the site.

“(The building) is only a block away from where we live,” Esparza said in an interview on Tuesday. “We have to start somewhere, but we would like to grow our business.”

Board members were optimistic about the new business even though the parking lot is small and a commercial delivery truck would block traffic or interfere with the parking lot.

“I drove out there before the meeting because I wanted to see how big the site was, and it’s not a very big space,” board member Felipe Merino said. “It’s kind of a neat location though, because it is right off of the work release center and next to La Casa, which could potentially be useful.”

Merino said residents in surrounding houses also could be customers for the business.

Goshen resident Valerie Chezem also spoke in favor of the restaurant.

“I think, in our culture, we isolate businesses to business sections and residents to residential sections, but I really think that there’s something very appealing in having a little restaurant right down the street,” she said.

Goshen City Council member Julia King attended the meeting and told board members Chamberlain residents have told her they want something positive to come from the vacant building.

“I do know there’s always been enthusiasm for filling that building when it wasn’t filled,” King said. “I have also heard them talk about having a walk-to restaurant, so (this business) fits with some of the things I’ve heard from the neighborhood.“

The zoning board’s approval is just one of several required before the Esparzas can open the restaurant, but they hope to be in business by the end of the year.


Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Sharon Hernandez on Twitter at @Sharon_HT and on Instagram at @shernandez0390

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