El Mariachi Loco gives Gearhart another try

Ruben Bautista

GEARHART — Rosalba Cisneros and El Mariachi Loco are back in Gearhart, this time setting up shop at the corner of Pacific Avenue and U.S. 101.

Co-owner Ruben Bautista said Gearhart was a natural fit. His wife, Cisneros, sold her original restaurant there in 2012, and locals were eager to have her back, he said.

“She’s known here; clients like her,” he said. “They love her recipes, they love how her personality is, so it was a combination of many things. We have been thinking about making the move, but it was not the right time. And we made it, and we’re here, and we’re excited to be back.”

The restaurant opened Dec. 18 with six employees plus Bautista and Cisneros.

The menu features authentic Mexican cuisine, Tex-Mex as well as vegetarian options, Bautista said. The kitchen crew is working on adding freshly made tortillas.

Bautista said the menu will evolve throughout the year. It’s part of keeping things interesting for diners.

“We love change.”

Volume in Gearhart has been better than expected since opening, Bautista said. Some nights have seen the parking lot jammed and tables filled, he added.

Cisneros’ recipes have been well received, he said. He’s sometimes called upon to help out washing dishes, and the plates are coming back empty.

“That’s when we feel very comfortable with what we’re doing,” he said. “If they’re not empty, they ask for to-go containers; that means a lot to us. That’s our reward.”

Their Cannon Beach location continues to operate. The couple had a Manzanita restaurant, but that has closed.

Bautista and Cisneros have their sights set on bigger and better things.

“Our goal is to open and keep increasing and succeeding,” he said. “We always look at the bigger companies, what they do to succeed, and that’s what we want to do. We want to be at a different level than we were yesterday.”

The restaurant is at 3350 U.S. 101 Ste. E. Call 503-539-7091 for more information.

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