Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Vicky Dorvee

Niwot’s Ajuua Restaurant becomes Raza Fresa Mexican Kitchen


April 19, 2018

Photo by Vicky Dorvee The updated dining room of Raza Fresa Mexican Kitchen, originally called Ajuua Mexican Restaurant.

An eye-catching sign recently went up next to the familiar Ajuua Mexican Restaurant sign in Cottonwood Square Shopping Center. The two signs will continue to sit side-by-side for a bit to indicate to the community that Raza Fresa Mexican Kitchen is the new Mexican restaurant in town, but is still related to Ajuua.

The Mexican slang term, “raza fresa,” means the hip crowd and, along with that theme, the vibe of Ajuua has just become a whole lot cooler.

Gone are the large wooden booths and Calla Lilies from the original décor. They’ve been swapped for new tables, chairs and upholstered seating, fresh flooring, brighter artwork, playful signs, Edison light strings, and freshly painted orange and blue walls - all of which make the dining room feel more invigorated and modern.

The wait staff wears updated uniform shirts with the folklore art of a smiling sugar skull as part of Raza Fresa’s multi-colored logo.

The Garcia family owns five local Mexican restaurants, which were originally all named Ajuua Mexican Restaurant. Two brothers, Luis and Rick Garcia, own the three locations in the south (one in Denver and two in Aurora) and a third sibling, Steve Garcia, owns Niwot’s eatery and the one located in Johnstown.

Steve, owner of Niwot’s Ajuua for the past 16 years, said, “The reason for the name change is mostly to make the process of adding, removing or changing our menu items easier at this location.”

He’s able to add new dishes without disrupting the other locations’ menu expectations. For instance, he’s recently added two items: Polla a la Raza, a sautéed chicken dish served with mushrooms, bacon and jalapenos, and Carne Ensalada, a steak salad served with a homemade chipotle dressing.

Garcia said customers can expect most of the same core dishes they’ve enjoyed in the past with some new items tossed in.

The patio décor has also been modernized and with the advent of warm weather, will be opening soon Garcia said.

As the public learns that the name and aesthetic makeover are simply part of a gentle update to the restaurant they already know, the Ajuua sign will be removed.


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