A lot of people have asked Ty and I why we chose to open a taqueria in Lyons and how Mojo came to be. Here is the story…
When we moved to Lyons in 2015, Ty was already working on recipes and a menu for a taqueria, but at that time we didn’t know where. The idea to create Mojo came from of a passion for not only tacos, but also the traditional Mexican chiles (guajillo, arbol, etc) that are used in our salsas and sauces. During the fall of 2015 he worked on the recipes and fine-tuned them. He created the salsas, short rib tacos, carnitas, rajas, cochinita pibil, etc, and the passion for the food continued to grow from there. When he was developing the recipe for guajillo red chile sauce (which is on our chicken enchiladas), I think I had a new version for 7 nights straight until he had perfected it to his liking. We had parties and gatherings where we would test our food on our family and friends, asking for opinions on what they loved or did not. We had kale salads weekly until he formulated the right combination for our pomegranate vinaigrette, and my favorite was the creation of our Baja fish tacos; I think I gained 10 pounds alone from eating these so often, until he had the batter and crema and salsa combo authentic to what we had enjoyed on one of our trips to Baja, Mexico.
Finally, in the winter of 2015 the menu was more or less complete and it was time to look for space. Originally, we were going to open a super small, fast casual style space- where Ty would be in back cooking and maybe we’d have one person at the counter for service. He was looking at different towns in Boulder County, but in the end we felt like living here in Lyons was such a blessing that we wanted to invest in our community and a bigger idea began to take over. We looked at 216 E Main St (what is known as the old Andrea’s old space) and felt like this was going to be our home for Mojo Taqueria. The old building needed a ton of work, and some people thought we were crazy, but with the help of some very talented friends, old and new, we were able to transform it into something really beautiful in 8 months.
We took this time to travel back to Mexico in the spring, and we made this trip about our bar program. We tasted a lot of mezcal, studied so many styles of tequila and researched the best pairings of mezcal and tequila into great tasting cocktails. It was really fun bringing these back into Mojo Taqueria and offering them to our community in Lyons.
As the building began to come into fruition, and opening began to look like a reality, we began looking for a chef to run the kitchen. We put out our feelers in the restaurant community, and received a lot of replies- however, one stuck out. It simply said, “I’m your man.” Ty of course had to meet this guy, and at that moment a whole new life was added into Mojo when we were introduced to James Van Dyk. He indeed hit it off with Ty, their mutual love of food and fun was serendipitous, and James had more than a ton of expertise to bring to the table. James is known as one the best chefs in the area, and they shared a similar vision for what Mojo could be.
James turned our shell of a kitchen into a beautiful thing- he made sure that everything was ready for opening, worked his ass off hiring a full kitchen staff, training them, perfecting the menu and adding his own amazing touch to what we began. His knowledge of food and flavor completed our menu- he added some major staples like the posole and tortilla soup and continues to constantly impress us with his ideas, style and dedication. He pumps out specials on a regular basis that are unbelievably delicious and creative and his love of good food and cooking just keeps adding to our fun and experience. He is essential to Mojo Taqueria’s success and we love him.
What we have now at Mojo Taqueria is something special. We have a staff that shares our love for the food, and is also beginning to feel like family. We have a team willingness to continue to strive to greatness as a restaurant. We love the Lyons community and love being a part of what makes Lyons special. It has been a long ride to get to this point, and we are excited for what the future brings.