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El Mexican Restaurant will come to Hastings next month

Yazmin and David Perez bought the Red Rock Cafe from Karl Hajny (right). Hajny is helping at the restaurant while the Perezes turn it into a Mexican restaurant. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)

Red Rock Cafe has been in downtown Hastings for 12 years, but Karl Hajny recently sold his restaurant to a Minneapolis couple who plans to turn it into a Mexican restaurant. David and Yazmin Perez own El Mexican Restaurant in Minneapolis, located off of Fifth and Lake streets, but they were looking to open another restaurant when they met Hajny, they said.

Hajny became acquainted with David when he was selling a piece of equipment that David wanted. While they were talking, Hajny asked if David was interested in buying a restaurant. David responded with, “It just so happens we are looking for another restaurant.”

David and Yazmin drove down to Hastings to look at the building and “we fell in love with the place,” David said.

He said they saw the beautiful view of the river, the downtown location and found out about the future plans of construction for the downtown area.

“It has a lot of potential,” David said. “We want to be a part of that.”

David and Yazmin plan to transition the Red Rock Cafe into a second location of El Mexican. They do not plan on closing during the process. The restaurant is usually closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, so they plan to utilize those days for painting, swapping out decorations and other work that needs to be done.

The current restaurant is only open for breakfast and lunch, but El Mexican will also be open for dinner. The new breakfast menu will have a little Mexican flare, too. The rest of the menu will be similar to the Minneapolis location of El Mexican, but they plan to add a few other options for Hastings.

David said there will be the regular dishes like enchiladas, quesadillas and burritos with some authentic food in the mix.

“You have to taste it, it’s undescribable,” David said of the authentic Mexican food.

Hajny said he has been to the Minneapolis restaurant location of El Mexican, and he raved about the food.

“Your taste buds kind of dance in your mouth from all the different flavors,” he said. “It’s just great.”

Perez said they are planning to open as the Mexican restaurant next month. More details will follow in weeks to come.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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