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Juanito's Ribbon Cutting, Charleston, IL

Updated: Apr 16

Hi all! I have a lot to say about this amazing restaurant, but if you're not a reader, just know that I'm giving Juanito's a glowing review and be sure to scroll down to see photos of Charleston's newest restaurant! But I highly encourage you to read my thoughts on why this place is absolutely one you should try...

I'll be honest. My first thought when hearing Juanito's was opening a location in Charleston was "Do we really need another Mexican restaurant?". When I expressed this to a friend from Mattoon, he didn't even hesitate when he replied, "You have no idea what you are missing. Their homemade tortillas are to die for." So when the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce asked me to photograph the ribbon cutting and help welcome them to the community, I jumped at the chance. Could it really be so different? I had to find out for myself.

I parked by the Butcher Shop and walked over. As I walked past Sirius Unbound and Castle and Cottage, I realized just how much the Square has changed since my younger days of working at the Will Rogers movie theater. The Square has a vibe all it's own and you can literally feel the lively atmosphere. If you haven't been in a while, Juanito's gives you a great excuse to go for a walk after dinner and rediscover one of Charleston's greatest areas.

This was my first view when walking into the building. A little darker in lighting than most restaurants, it gives a more upscale feel than I was expecting. I was also pleasantly surprised by how soft the sound was. For having two televisions with football games on, high ceilings, and several employees, customers, and people gathering for the ribbon cutting, I fully expected to overwhelmed with noise. Maybe I lucked out with the time of day, but I was very excited to have my hearing fully intact when I left.

But the aroma of Juanito's is truly what got me. The food being served to a nearby table smelled there was no way I was leaving without trying it. I kept sneaking a peek at the menu, but people starting coming in and it was almost time for the ribbon cutting! I'll give you a quick play by play of that before returning to my first Juanito's experience...

It was time to move this party outside! We took a photo of owners Manuel and Daisy Mejia with their family, friends, and staff first.

Then we added everyone else. Talk about crowd! Even Mayor Brandon Combs and Sheriff Kent Martin came to check out the excitement!

This ribbon proved difficult to cut, but Daisy was determined!

After a few comedic moments, Daisy finally got that ribbon cut!

"At Juanito’s, we are bringing a taste of food from our table at home to our restaurants." -Daisy Mejia

Daisy and Manuel said a few words about how grateful they were to bring foods they love to our town and how much they appreciated everyone coming out to celebrate with them!

By this point, I'm already sold on Juanito's. Between the kindness of the staff, the number of people who showed up to the ribbon cutting because they're so excited for this restaurant to have a Charleston location, and all of the great things I have heard, I felt like this was the real deal. Time to look at the menu and put it all to the test!

I settled on a lunch combination so I could try multiple things. That was 100% the correct decision! I could go on and on about how great the salsa was, how fresh everything was, or how the food was it's own specialty, but let's just get down to friend was right and the homemade tortillas are to die for! So when you go, you must give them a try!

Keep scrolling for more photos of the restaurant and ribbon cutting...

Daisy Mejia with Chamber President Doug Abolt. "We feel so incredibly grateful for the amount of support we have received from the Charleston community. The great turnout at our ribbon cutting ceremony speaks volumes and makes us so proud!" -Daisy Mejia

Can we please take a moment to talk about this bar? It's just so festive and I love it!!

These signs are back by the restrooms. It truly is the details that make a place great so I had to include them.

I laughed way too hard at the back of the staff shirts!

Edit: It has been brought to my attention that Tanya of Design Pro in Effingham was the graphic designer who did the logo and printed the signage for Juanito's! She has a special place in my heart as she is the one who designed our boudoir brand logo as well as my husband and I's wedding invitations and thank you cards. She always knocks it out of the park!!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my great experience at Juanito's! For more information, check out the links below.

Design Pro Facebook Page:

Design Pro Website:

Kathleen Kidwell Photography Facebook Page:

Kathleen Kidwell Photography Website:

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