By: Rachel Cain – Staff Writer
The El Rancho Grande, a Mexican restaurant and cantina, location planned for the corner of Brown and Stewart Streets is scheduled to open at the end of May. This is about a month after the original April opening date, according to Aaron Savino, a real estate broker with Miller-Valentine.
El Rancho Grande is a full-service Mexican restaurant and cantina that provides a casual, sit-down dining experience, according to their website. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, features a full bar, and closes at 11 p.m. on Fridays and 10 p.m. on every other day, according to the restaurant’s website.
The restaurant began early stages of development back at the beginning of the fall semester, according to a Flyer News article published Thursday, Sept. 12.
The opening date for El Rancho Grande was pushed back due to zoning applications, other El Rancho Grande restaurant openings, and city of Dayton codes, said Edward Blake, senior partner at Miller-Valentine and CEO of the Miller-Valentine Commercial Group.
Several of the specific issues that have to be addressed by El Rancho Grande is making sure their EPA drainage is approved for code and that their patio plan complies with City of Dayton codes, Savino said.
“Each space is a little different, and it always takes a little longer than you originally thought,” Blake said. “This is not atypical in the industry.”
El Rancho Grande was interested in opening a location near the University of Dayton because they would have access to a wide customer base in the student body, Savino said. Because of this unique opportunity to reach out to the students, El Rancho Grande wanted to make this location particularly special. However, these modifications have added to the time of the opening for the restaurant.
“This won’t be a regular store—it will be higher end, more catered to the students,” Savino explained. “So, it’s taken a bit more time than a typical build up.”
Some of these additions to the restaurant style will include a “unique and flashy” “brand new interior” as well as a new patio area, Savino said.
“There are a few modifications with the space that needed to be approved,” Savino said.
Miller-Valentine is a real estate company that collaborates with various companies and individuals throughout Ohio and South Carolina, according to their official website. Blake said Miller-Valentine is the landlord of the property El Rancho Grande will own.
Miller-Valentine’s relationship with El Rancho Grande has lasted several years.
“We had talked to El Rancho three years ago about opening a location on Brown Street,” Savino said. “They weren’t interested at the time, but eventually they decided this location made more sense.”
“I’m very excited for the new restaurant to open,” said Michelle Rabara, sophomore biology major. “I’d love to try it this year, since it’s bringing new style to Brown Street. Even if it opens later, it’ll be a great new thing to try to start of the next semester.”
El Rancho Grande hoped to open on Brown Street in time for the Cinco de Mayo celebration on May 5, Savino said.
Although the restaurant owners are still “pushing hard for that,” Savino said, their priority is that “everything is done correctly.”