CBS 19 sat down Friday with the two men who are opening a new El Charro restaurant. El Charro on the Ridge will open in the October-November timeframe at 6899 Oak Hill Boulevard which is near Fresh on Old Jacksonville Highway.
Talking with Manny Vela and Mike Bentley, you can see the relief that comes from finally talking about it.
"It was the very worst kept secret in Tyler right now," they said simultaneously when asked about the "El Charro" truck that's been parked outside the new restaurant for weeks.
Vela is related to the family that's been serving Tyler Mexican food for 8 decades. Bentley will be the general manager.
"El Charro has been the key for many, many years here," Bentley said. "The taste, the recipes that Mr. Ramirez founded when he opened the doors will still be the same that they'll get here."
Along with the old favorites, you'll see some new menu items too. For the first time they'll have a stand up bar and outdoor seating. And they're already working on a new sign that should look kind of like the old one.
"We've been lining up ducks for the last two and a half months, you know?" Vela said. "And it's taken that long."
With the lease signed, Vela and Bentley are tearing into walls and revamping the kitchen for Mexican cooking. They're re-hiring the old cooks.
"That's the only job a couple of those people have ever had," Bentley said. "When they shut it down, that was the end of it."
The stakes are high.
"El Charro's is a place that Tyler, Texas grew up on," Vela said. "There's people who have been eating El Charro's all their life."
But the mission is simple.
"Quality food, good service, reasonable price," Bentley said.