One of the owners of Cancun Mexican Grill in Saline said the restaurant could open as soon as six weeks from now.
Last Monday, Saline City Council approved ECI Inc.’s application for Saline’s new liquor license, which was awarded to the city as a result of the new census numbers. ECI Inc. owns Cancun Mexican Grill. Boulevard Market, which operates in Tecumseh, had also applied for Saline’s new liquor license but withdrew from the process.
Ismael Leon, one of four shareholders in ECI Inc., said he’s hopeful that Cancun Mexican Grill will open in the next six weeks. Cancun Mexican Grill is a chain that Leon founded in Kentucky nearly 20 years ago.
The restaurant will be located at 405 E. Michigan Ave., in the former Signatures Grill. The space will be leased from property owner Dean Zahn Properties, LLC.
Council voted unanimously to approve the license after receiving assurances employees would be trained to serve alcohol. An representative of the restaurant told city council the operation will be run like a restaurant and not a bar.
“The restaurant serves authentic Mexican food. 90 percent of its revenue is from food and 10 percent is from alcohol. Alcohol is critical to meeting the needs of our customers,” said attorney Michael Brown. “A good portion of our customers enjoy having an alcoholic beverage with their meal.”
Brown said the restaurant will likely close at 10 or 11 p.m. and not keep bar hours.
ECI Inc. owns Cancun Mexican Grill restaurants in Okemos and Grand Ledge.
Council member Brian Marl said he appreciated the interest in creating a local business.
“I work in Lansing and I am well aware of the other restaurants. They have an outstanding reputation,” Marl said. “I hope you enjoy many prosperous years in Saline.”
City council authorized the restaurant to sell takeout beer and wine. According to Clerk Dianne Hill, the state can authorize the takeout license even if the city did not.