Ramiro’s Cantina Express

Ramiro’s Cantina, a popular Louisville Mexican restaurant is opening a second, express location in downtown Jeffersonville.

The eatery, run by long-time restauranteur Ramiro Gandara, will be located in a newly renovated building at 253 Spring St. and operate similar to a Qdoba or Chipotle. Customers will be able to order, grab their food and leave … or sit down and enjoy it there.

The Jeffersonville location will have a more limited menu than its Frankfort Avenue counterpart, but will still feature Ramiro’s favorites, including burritos, chicken bowls, nachos, tortas and tacos. Gandara is also applying for a three-way liquor license to serve wine, beer and — “oh yes” — margaritas at the restaurant.

Gandara has been looking for a place to open a Southern Indiana Ramiro’s location for two years.

“I mean, Jeffersonville is the new Louisville,” he said. “Everything’s coming into Jeffersonville. It was a no-brainer for me.”

Gandara isn’t new to the state, however. He used to own Los Indios, a restaurant with locations in New Albany, Floyd Knobs and Corydon.

All of his restaurants are run with the help of his mother, who has been a chef for decades and is the source of Ramiro’s recipes.

Gandara will be leasing his Jeffersonville spot from Bill Burns, the owner of RE/MAX First in Jeffersonville and New Albany. The building used to be home to a hair salon. Burns has remodeled the building — completely updating its exterior face, painting it and redoing the two multi-family apartments on its second floor.

Gandara will have to retrofit the building to make it into the restaurant he wants. He hasn’t settled on an opening date yet.

“We want to do it right,” he said. “We want to open at the right time.”

The restaurant will likely hold 35 to 40 people inside and include some outdoor tables if possible. It’s not guaranteed to look like the Ramiro’s Louisville location, although Gandara hasn’t settled on a theme yet. He’s toying with an upscale Dia de los Muertos look.

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