El Jimador marks first anniversary


Northern Star File Photo

El Jimador, 260 E Lincoln Highway, will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the day of the fundraiser.

Quade Evans, Lifestyle reporter

DeKALB – There are no shortages of Mexican restaurants in DeKalb. However, El Jimador has cemented itself as a big player among its contemporaries since its opening one year ago. 

Occupying what was formerly O’Leary’s Irish Pub, and located right in the center of downtown, the restaurant’s fine dining and vibrant atmosphere create a classy dining experience for people who want to eat tasty food with phenomenal service quality.  

El Jimador initially opened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic when businesses everywhere were struggling due to the restrictions on indoor seating. Despite the challenge of operating a sit-down restaurant during COVID-19, El Jimador was able to stay open long enough to see some success with their restaurant endeavor. 

Ever since El Jimador has become a local hotspot for the bustling DeKalb nightlife.

“We want to offer good drinks to give it an authentic kinda vibes, somewhere you can chill on a Friday night,” said Olivia Pacheco, co-owner of El Jimador. 

El Jimador offers a stunning array of 50 beverages, 500 food items and 85 botanas (snacks). They serve classic Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, enchiladas and even seafood and steak dishes. While the restaurant does focus on traditional foods, they still keep those dishes fresh with new takes on them. Authenticity is a very important part of their mission. Fresh herbs and tangy spices can be found on the menu as tantalizing side dishes.

“We want to make you feel like you’re in Mexico,” said Ryan Gifford, co-owner of El Jimador. 

The food is served with spices and ingredients that give it a unique Mexican-styled touch and with a sense of flair that you can’t ignore. 

“The whole idea is just to serve great food in a good environment,” Gifford said. 

It all goes back to the idea of bringing families together at the table with freshly prepared meals. 

It’s been one year since they opened up in DeKalb, and that was right in the midst of COVID-19  restrictions. Despite COVID-19 making big upsets to small businesses everywhere, El Jimador was a huge success and still plans to go strong for the next year and onward. 

“We’re just gonna keep doing what we usually do,” Gifford said. “Serving great food and giving good service.” 

More information on El Jimador can be found on their website or by contacting them at 815-301-5008.