MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Seven years ago, Bedford Hills resident Nolvin Mejia – then living in Guatemala – dreamed of coming to America to open up his own restaurant.
Three weeks ago, that dream came true with the soft opening of “Tijuana,” located at 37 South Moger Avenue. Mejia, who owns and operates the Mexican grill with his uncle, Jimmy Ventura, hosted its grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 15.
“This is my dream come true,” Mejia said. “And the community here in Mount Kisco is the perfect place for me to share that dream. Everyone here comes from different backgrounds and comes together to help each other out.”
Meija, a graduate of Fox Lane High School, was recently taking classes at Westchester Community College before deciding it was the right time to start his business. Both he and his uncle have several years experience working in the restaurant industry. He said the name Tijuana was inspired by the food they are making.
Although the neighborhood has a sit-down Mexican restaurant in “Maya,” it lacks a Mexican option where you can stop in and get something to go, or have it delivered to your home.
“A friend I’ve had since I’ve come to America is from Tijuana,” Mejia said. “We've always felt that this community lacked Mexican cuisine options. I’m trying to get it right. I want to bring the authentic taste of Mexico here.”
Everything at Tijuana, from its taco shells to its guacamole, is “made fresh for the day.” The menu, though already vast, will expand in coming weeks. Mejia is most excited for his “Tacos Al Pastor” machine, which will arrive in the next few weeks.
“It’s essentially a Mexican gyro,” he said. “They are very popular in Mexico, and not something you find too often around here.”
If Tijuana’s first impressions are any indication, you’ll be able to find Tacos Al Pastor, along with the rest of its menu, in Mount Kisco for many years to come.
“This is such a great example of a young, local entrepreneur investing in our community,” Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich said before helping Mejia cut the ribbon.
The investment seems to be off to a fast start, as Tijuana already has repeat customers three weeks into its stay.
“This is my third time here,” Bedford Hills resident Victoria Friedman said. “I’ve gotten the Cowboy Burrito every time. My kids have got tacos. It’s all so fresh. We’ll be back for more.”