Ribbon cutting held for Barrio Agave Friday, restaurant now open
‘We put all of our experiences together and we're happy to share it with you all’
ROCHELLE — On Friday, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for Barrio Agave, a new Mexican restaurant at 1310 N. 7th St. The restaurant officially opened Friday and is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.
Barrio Agave Owner Jennifer Gonzalez said Friday that she and her family are from Rochelle and they have been working for the past year to open the restaurant’s doors.
“I'd like to thank our friends and family who have been helping us along the way,” Gonzalez said. “We've been working extremely hard for the past year. There have been a lot of challenges, but we worked through it and collaborated together. I'm happy we're here.”
Gonzalez thanked the City of Rochelle as well for its support over the past year.
“I think it's just a reflection of what a great community Rochelle is: Supportive, encouraging, motivating and loving,” Gonzalez said. “I could say so much more. We grew up here in Rochelle and after high school we moved to Arizona and got to explore different types of food which is something we're incorporating here today in our menu. Growing up we moved around a lot. We lived in California and I Iived in Chicago for a time for school. We put all of our experiences together and we're happy to share it with you all. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you all love it.”
The ribbon cutting was hosted by the Rochelle Chamber of Commerce and the City of Rochelle. Speakers included Chamber Executive Director Tricia Herrera, Mayor John Bearrows and State Rep. Bradley Fritts. Herrera welcomed the family to the chamber and business community and thanked them for choosing Rochelle to open their restaurant.
“We love celebrating with new members,” Herrera said. “We love new businesses. We love to celebrate their enthusiasm and ideas and seeing the culmination of a dream. We have been very fortunate to be involved with this for some time. They got the location and came and sat down with us and wanted to get started. We're very proud to be involved since the beginning of this idea with you guys. You guys have been wonderful. The community is really ready for this. They're very excited about this. When you open a business, you can put it anywhere. And we are always grateful that you choose our location. Congratulations and thank you for choosing Rochelle.”
Bearrows welcomed Barrio Agave on behalf of the city and said small businesses are “the backbone of the community.”
“We take great pride in the fact that we got through the COVID-19 pandemic and didn't lose any small businesses,” Bearrows said. “We worked with them as a partnership to keep them open. We're thankful you're here offering yet another variety of ethnic foods for our community, which has a wide variety of ethnic folks that love to come out and enjoy and learn cultures. We're just very thankful to have you here. Welcome to Rochelle.”
Gonzalez said that getting the business ready to open over the past year was a family affair.
“I'm super excited and proud of my family,” Gonzalez said. “My dad did all of the remodeling for us and did an awesome job. My sister has worked with me since day one on this. Our employees are already great and we appreciate them so much. Thank you all so much for being here. This is a huge accomplishment for us. It's something we always wanted. As kids growing up we used to tell my mom that we needed our own restaurant and that one day we were going to do it. And here we are."