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Los Angeles’ oldest Mexican restaurant opening in Utah

A little piece of Los Angeles’ Chicano history is coming to Utah

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Los Angeles’ iconic El Cholo Mexican restaurant is opening a location in Sugar House at 2166 S. 900 East.

Sydnee Gonzalez, KSL.com

A little piece of Los Angeles' Chicano history is coming to Utah.

El Cholo, which claims to be LA’s oldest Mexican restaurant, is opening its first location outside of California in Sugar House next month.

The family-run restaurant was established in 1923 by owner Ron Salisbury's grandparents, Alejandro and Rosa Borquez. It's since become a staple in LA, and the family has opened five more locations in California.

"They were just this young couple who came from the territory of Arizona to Los Angeles. All they wanted to do really was the American dream, which was to create a business they could be proud of and create a good life for themselves. And it succeeded," Salisbury said. "My parents did the same thing and that's all we've ever been. We've had his wonderful loving relationship with the city and the people in LA, and I just hope to continue on with people in Utah."

Salisbury said the family has never gone looking for restaurants, but each location was an opportunity they came across that felt right. The Salt Lake City location is no different.

"Utah checked off a whole bunch of boxes," he said, pointing to the Sugar House location and Utah workforce. "I just see a great opportunity for a Mexican restaurant with the history that we have. I can't imagine a better opportunity."

The restaurant, located at 2166 South and 900 East, is slated to open in late September. The Sugar House location, which has roof-top seating offering views of the Wasatch Mountains, will have a menu that mirrors the California location. Those dishes include a variety of enchiladas, green corn tamales, fajitas and tacos.

Salisbury, who attended Brigham Young University in the '50s, also owns a second home in Utah and has children living in the Beehive State. His great-grandfather was a Latter-day Saint pioneer who helped settle Utah in the 1800s. So why the decision to expand to Utah at this moment?

"Well, I'm 90 years old, so I don't know why I'm doing this," Salisbury joked. "Other than it's kind of fun to say at 90, I can still do things like this."