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Julio’s expands with new Cantina

Julio Arreguin, owner and operator of Julio's Mexican Grill in Fraser, pauses for a brief picture Monday morning while preparing for the mid-day rush. Julio's Mexican Grill recently added a Cantina to their existing facilities.
Lance Maggart / Sky-Hi News |

Long before Colorado joined the Union much of the state, most of the land south of the Arkansas River, belonged to Mexico.

That early heritage survives today with Colorado’s many Spanish named communities and the large Hispanic population that calls this state home. Hatch green chilies are prevalent in the fall and authentic Mexican food is a staple throughout the year. Grand County residents and seasoned visitors know about our local hot spots for Mexican food but now one of Fraser’s favorite eateries is expanding their facilities and service to provide alcoholic beverages and a relaxed atmosphere for patrons.

Julio’s Mexican Grill in Fraser serves up burritos, tacos, enchiladas and outstanding tortas along with other authentic Mexican dishes such as mole at their location in the Fraser Valley Shopping Center. Julio’s expanded recently with a large remodeling project. The expansion included opening a Cantina section within the restaurant in mid-January. Julio’s now offers an expanded dining area, a bar and a large selection of beers, liquors and mixed drinks including their special house-made margaritas.

The margaritas were a point of pride for restaurant owner and operator Julio Arreguin. “We don’t use mixes for our margaritas,” he said. “We use fresh limes and we don’t use simple syrup. We use agave nectar and really good quality tequilas.” Arreguin also pointed out that all frozen margaritas at Julio’s Mexican Grill feature fresh fruit. “We never use mixes,” he said. “People can tell the difference.”

Originally from Hidalgo Mexico Arreguin and his wife Janet Varela first moved to California after immigrating to the US. The couple have lived in Grand County for nearly a decade now and worked as restaurant managers in the Winter Park area before opening their own place in 2008. Julio’s Mexican Grill was initially housed in the Conoco station in Fraser but moved to the current location in the Fraser Valley Shopping Center four years ago.

Arreguin explained the decision to expand the restaurant to include a cantina was sparked after new owners took over the Shopping Center. “We got a new landlord and came to them with the idea to expand,” Arreguin said. A photo studio previously occupied the space now occupied by Julio’s Mexican Grill Cantina.

Remodeling work started in Nov. 2015 and wrapped up in mid Dec. The Cantina officially opened for business on Jan. 16, 2016. “We will do a grand opening event soon, in the next few week,” said Arreguin.

Remodel work on the Cantina included the addition of a new corner bar, new flooring, new lights and paint and a remodeling of the bathroom. Arreguin also had several TV sets installed in the Cantina to allow patrons to watch sporting events or other shows. To go along with their expanded facilities Juilo’s has also expanded their menu to include appetizers and steaks and more salad choices. The Cantina features a large menu of prepared shots for more adventurous outings.

The new Cantina also means expanded hours for Julio’s Mexican Grill. The restaurant and cantina are now open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. “Our kitchen is open late so most everything on our menu is available for order until close.”

Along with outstanding margaritas and delicious Mexican food patrons to Julio’s Mexican Grill can generally expect to see restaurant owners Julio and Janet smiling as they hurry about the restaurant filling drinks and keeping things in order. The family aspect was something Julio was very proud of. “This has always been run as a family business,” he said. “The core of this business is family.”

Julio’s Mexican Grill and Cantina is located at B102, 535 Zerex St. Fraser in the Fraser Valley Shopping Center immediately right of Murdoch’s.


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