Downtown Glenwood gets two new restaurants |

Downtown Glenwood gets two new restaurants

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Marina Ortiz isn’t one to lose faith. So, in addition to trying to make a living herself, she believes her new downtown Glenwood Springs restaurant, El Gallito, can also be a way to give the local economy a boost.

As the only Mexican restaurant located in the downtown core, within walking distance for the busy lunchtime and after work crowd, she may just be onto something.

“By drawing customers in, we are helping the economy,” said Ortiz, who has lived in the area for five years and had a restaurant in California previously.

“The most important thing is to not lose the willingness to try something new, and have faith that eventually the economy will withstand whatever it’s going through now,” she said in Spanish through an interpreter and good friend, Nelly Gomez, who happened to stop by for lunch Wednesday.

El Gallito is located at 208 7th St., in the space formerly occupied by Mancinelli’s Pizza.

That same thinking prompted The King Chinese restaurant to give it a go at its new downtown location, at 817 1/2 Grand Ave., where two other restaurants, Rendezvous and Atmosphere, were formerly located.

Owners Martin and Betty Cruz had operated The King in West Glenwood for a short time, but were closed for 14 months before reopening in January at their new downtown location. Martin’s brother, Thomas Cruz, owns another well-known Asian eatery in Glenwood Springs, China Town.

“This is a better location,” said restaurant manager Debbie Lawrence, who has 25 years of restaurant experience herself. “And, we’re trying to do everything we can to accommodate people in this economy.”

That includes budget-minded lunch specials, a lunch buffet and a special locals deal, she said.

El Gallito, or “The Rooster,” specializes in food from the Mexico City region, where Ortiz is from originally. It also has been open since mid-January

“We’re a little bit different,” she said. “The idea I had for opening the restaurant was to show real authentic Mexican food, so that people are able to see the different varieties of food that Mexico has to offer. Each region of Mexico is different and has different tastes.”

The rooster is a common emblem in Mexico, Ortiz said, especially as it relates to the farming communities.

Another Mexican restaurant in Glenwood Springs recently changed hands. The former Mariscos Costa Azul, located at 55 Mel Rey Road in West Glenwood, is now Barrigas Mexican Restaurant and Grill.

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