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Mexican restaurant, Los Jalapeno Taqueria in Perham now open

Yobani Melchor is ready to serve hungry patrons now that Los Jalapeno Taqueria is open for business. The restaurant will be open until 9 p.m. tonight. The Debbie Irmen/FOCUS

The wait for the opening of Los Jalapeno Taqueria is finally over. The Mexican-style restaurant opened today, March 3, in Perham.

"We're happy, happy now," said Yobani Melchor, co-owner of the establishment.

About 20 to 25 food tickets were taken from people who walked into the restaurant for lunch when they saw the "open" sign, and is looking for a robust clientele for supper tonight.

"People have been trickling in this afternoon," said Pat Strand, owner.

Both Melchor and Strand were all smiles after the lunch crowd had dispersed Friday.

Originally planning to open in mid-November, the owners ran into setback after setback. Last week, when rain damaged the roof and fell into the kitchen, Strand said he wanted to climb back into bed and start over.

And that was about the time Melchor dreamed that the restaurant was full of patrons, with lines extending in either direction outside. He did what any sensible business owner would do, though, and started serving chips and salsa to the masses outside.

The restaurant is open tonight until 9 p.m., and everyday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.