MOORHEAD - El Torero Mexican Restaurant is giving fans of south-of-the-border flavors something else to olé about.

The eatery at 3005 U.S. Highway 10 E. opened its doors to the public for the first time at noon Thursday, Jan. 23, Manager Jose Rocha said.

It gives new life to the former Perkins restaurant and bakery, which had closed permanently in January 2019 after a water main break flooded the building, causing significant damage.

The restaurant features a large menu of lunch and dinner favorites, including nachos, fajitas, tacos, enchiladas and a variety of other beef, pork, chicken and fish dishes, Rocha said.

Beer, wine, mixed drinks and margaritas are also available.

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“We’ve got the best margaritas in town” and “the food is really good,” Rocha promised.

The two wings of the dining room have room for about 200 diners, he said.

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Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Rocha said he was tough to get the 4,769-square-foot building rehabbed and ready for customers again.

“It was a lot of work, painting and cleaning,” he said.

Jose Roca manages the El Torero Mexican Restaurant at 3005 U.S. Highway 10 E. in Moorhead. The restaurant opened for business Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)
Jose Roca manages the El Torero Mexican Restaurant at 3005 U.S. Highway 10 E. in Moorhead. The restaurant opened for business Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)

El Torero is owned by Jose Aguirre, an Ohio restaurateur.

El Torero is one of several Mexican restaurants that have opened in the metro area in the past few months, including La Fiesta Mexican and American Grill, Casa Mexico, Plaza Azteca and a second Chipotle Mexican Grill, all in Fargo. Pancheros Mexican Grill also moved to a more visible location nearer to West Acres in the T.J. Maxx Plaza.

CHD Expert, which specializes in food service, restaurant and hospitality industry data analysis, said Americans have come to love Mexican flavors, with restaurants featuring Mexican menus making up 9% of all U.S. restaurants as of 2017.