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Saline Council OKs Liquor License for Mexican Restaurant

New eatery will feature authentic Mexican cuisine.

A Kentucky man will soon open a new restaurant serving authentic Mexican food in Saline after winning a liquor license Monday night.

Ismael Leon of Franklin, KY, is the founder and majority stockholder in a company that will bring a Cancun Mexican Grill to 405 E. Michigan, where the Signature Inn used to be. The new restaurant should open in about two months.

Leon’s group was one of two to apply for the quota license, made possible after the 2010 Census.

Lansing attorney Michael Brown represented Leon at the City Council meeting.  He said the restaurant’s main fare is food, which will account for 90 percent of the sales. Alcohol will make up 10 percent.

“People like an alcoholic beverage with their dinner,” Brown said.

According to city documents, Leon leads a group of four shareholders that have built four other restaurants across the state. The company has four more in Kentucky and Ohio, Leon said.

The staff and management will be trained to serve alcoholic beverages accord to state standards, Brown said.

The restaurant will employ 12 full-time workers and six to eight part-timers. The store will close between 10 and 11 p.m. and there will be no entertainment on site.

The Council approved the request unanimously.

“I hope you have many prosperous years in Saline,” Councilman Brian Marl said.

The business will also carry an SDM license which will allow takeout of beer and wine. This license does not require council approval since it comes directly from the state.

“It lets them (customers) take a bottle of wine home after dinner,” Brown said. “It’s a complimentary service.

“We make sure customer get what they want. It only costs $100 a year.”

Leon said the menu will be authentic Mexican, not the fare served at places like Chi-Chis, which he called Tex-Mex. The food will not be too spicy, because people won’t like it, he said.

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