Several years ago, as the number of pizza restaurants in Dexter swelled to seven, the overabundance of pizza in contrast with the striking unavailability of a decent taco became a standing joke and was wryly noted by John Hansen in his twice-monthly Dexter Forum notes. Each time a vacant restaurant space came on the market, Hansen plaintively wondered if it would be Mexican.
Dexter will finally get its Mexican restaurant sometime this spring. “I don’t have an exact date,” says owner Adrian Iraola. “It’s subject to permits, reviews …”
Iraola knows all about those as a former Ann Arbor city staffer and more recently owner of two Chela’s restaurants there. But while he knows how many moving parts need to fall into place, he promises Chela’s Dexter, in the former Foggy Bottom space in Dexter Crossing, will be open “by Cinco de Mayo. And another thing I can tell you for sure is that we’ll have a liquor license.”
Iraola is a native of Mexico. “A lot of people ride the Mexican cuisine wagon, but they don’t know which way the horse is going,” he says. “When you go out and look at prices and flavors, you know you can do better.”
It’s hard to scoop the Dexter Forum. When we notified John Hansen that Dexter was finally getting its Mexican restaurant, he breezily emailed: “We heard about Chela’s at least a year ago so we have stopped conjuring a restaurant.”