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South Point welcomes restaurant

SOUTH POINT — Edward Diaz may be California-born, but he’s quickly adapting to his new home in Ohio.

Taking a break from opening a new restaurant venture in South Point a few months ago, Diaz got his first taste of that cold white stuff most people dread to see.

“I made a snowman. My first,” he said. “It was pretty good.”

What brought Diaz to leave the sunny climes of California was his desire to join his father, Pablo, to start Rancho Nuevo, a new Mexican restaurant on Township Road 1429, off U.S. 52, in eastern Lawrence County. The father-son entrepreneur team is partnered with Genero Aguirre who also has a restaurant in Huntington.

“I came with the intention to open it,” Diaz said. “As soon as I came we started fixing the restaurant. That took a month to fix.”

The menu features all the well-known Mexican dishes, although Diaz is planning to add some American fare like hamburgers, especially for children.

However, Diaz so far sees the restaurant’s house specialty, the dish many keep asking for, as the fajita texana, a soft tortilla filled with chicken, beef, shrimp, onions and bell peppers with a side order of guacamole and refried beans.

And for dessert it’s the perennial favorite: fried ice cream.

Even though the restaurant hasn’t been open long, Diaz reports that traffic is good.

“It’s picking up every week,” he said. “As soon as it’s summer, it will get better.”

Rancho Nuevo is open seven days a week: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays — that’s the day that attracts large parties from 12 to 16 to 20.

And what’s the best part of life as an Ohio restaurateur?

“Seeing new people,” Diaz said. “Looking at people and seeing the reactions. Do they like it?