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Mexico Restaurant faces uncertain future

Andrew Tolve
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Mexico Restaurant and Cantina owner Brett Eiseman spent mllions of dollars on constructing and furnishing his restaurant on Highway 6 in Dillon. The restaurant closed in early May and is not expected to reopen until mid-July.
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DILLON – The Mexico Restaurant and Cantina on Highway 6 in Dillon is in the midst of a turbulent transition in its ownership. The upscale Calvin Klein of local Mexican eateries closed in early May and is not expected to reopen until mid-July.The Mexico first opened in July of 2004 after its owner, Brett Eiseman, had invested millions of dollars to outfit the three-story building with authentic furniture and decorations from Guadalajara, Mexico.Within eight months of operation the head chef had resigned, and two months later Eiseman and his wife left the business with little explanation, according to Jennifer Duncan, the restaurant’s general manager.”They just walked out the door like they were going to leave for the day and they never came back,” Duncan said. “The whole situation is strange in my eyes. I’ve never really dealt with something like this.”

“I think Brett was disappointed in the performance of the restaurant,” speculated Steven Hess, an attorney for Dillon Holdings Inc., the group that owns the building. “The landlord is now eager to get it reopened with a new tenant.”Reopening the restaurant with a new tenant, however, is not proving as easy as Dillon Holdings would like. Before they can do so they need Eiseman and his company (BME Holdings) to agree that their lease is terminated. To date, Eiseman has been unwilling to comply. On May 20, Dillon Holdings filed a court complaint against BME Holdings to obtain judicial entitlement of the property. The Summit County Court in Breckenridge will hear the case today.”He (Eiseman) may think that this is about someone getting money from him,” Hess said. “It’s not. The only issue in the present lawsuit is who has the right to possession of the property.”

Brett Eiseman could not be reached for an interview.A second issue slowing the Mexico’s return to the Summit County restaurant scene is a new liquor license. Charonda Wilson, the potential new lessee, hopes to reopen in July with the proper licensing, but the lawsuit between Dillon Holdings and BME Holdings is slowing the process. Dillon town clerk Jan Thomas said late last week that she still didn’t have a formal application for the liquor license due to a lack of paperwork.Despite the complications facing the restaurant, Duncan said she’s excited about bringing the unique culinary flair of the cantina back to Dillon. Mexico Restaurant prides itself on offering authentic Guadalajaran food, with everything from tapas like Spanish almond crusted calamari to desserts like Acapulco mousse on its menu.

“The other restaurants in the area are more of a Tex-Mex type of restaurant,” Duncan said. “Our food is more gourmet. As far as competition, there’s really nothing out there that’s like our restaurant. Our only competition is ourselves.”Duncan added that she plans to rehire all of the restaurant’s previous staff and to make only minor adjustments to the menu. “We hope to reopen and act like nothing was done,” Duncan said. “I think people definitely like the restaurant and will want to come back.” Andrew Tolve can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 251, or at atolve@summitdaily.com.


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