Unpacking the Salsa Limón concept requires a cursory knowledge of Mexican food and a deep understanding of the creative minds behind the chain.
Salsa Limón co-owner Ramiro “Milo” Ramirez chatted with me at his restaurant’s newest addition on West Magnolia Avenue. Everything from Ramirez’ hiring practices and employee education seminars to his carefully curated art pieces and radio station choice (KCRW, if you were wondering) reflects a business model that prioritizes culture and progressive ideals as much as it does well-crafted tacos.
A native of Oaxaca, Mexico, Ramirez said light beers like Corona and Victoria have long been mainstays of life in his childhood city.
“Mexico produces two of the most powerful brands in the world: Corona and Dos Equis,” he said. “There were two gifts men [were expected to bring to celebrations], a case of Corona or Victoria. To me, beer is about community and sharing.”
For Ramirez, cervezas with lime are the perfect drink to wash down a street taco or quesadilla.
“We have a lot of great breweries” in Fort Worth, he added. “Martin House, Wild Acre, Rahr — Fort Worth is spoiled with these incredible breweries.”
Economically uplifting women of color is part of the Salsa Limón concept. Ramirez sees a difference between educating employees and training them. He breaks down business concepts into terms his workers can internalize and one day use at their own businesses. Several former Salsa Limón workers have gone on to open their own stores and restaurants, Ramirez said.
“You don’t need an MBA” to successfully own and run a business, he tells his workers.
Unpacking the Salsa Limón concept further, we chatted about art and culture. Ramirez and his sister Rosalia (the restaurant’s other co-owner) are formally trained artists who came from a family that valued poetry, paintings, and informed discussions about fine art.
Art enriches communities, Ramirez said. In the coming weeks, three large plasma TVs will display photography and other graphic-based art. Local photographer Rambo will be featured in the inaugural show, followed by mixed media artist Madie Braswell. The main dining area can easily be cleared for DJ sets of Cumbia and other forms of Tejano music.
The cultural elements have always been a part of Salsa Limón’s business model, Ramirez said.
“I’ve been all over the world,” he said. “I never felt the sense of community I have here. In Fort Worth, and especially the Near Southside, people know me and know my interests. [At Salsa Limón], everyone is invited to have a superior quality of life. More culture is more quality. There’s no question about that. There’s so much wealth and power in Fort Worth, but we still are living sub par compared to other great cities.”
Celebrating Mexican culture, supporting local artists, uplifting economically disadvantaged workers, and, yes, making insanely popular tacos are the pillars of West Magnolia Avenue’s newest restaurant.
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On Tap this Week:
Fort Worth Cocktail Week
Now in its third year, Fort Worth Cocktail Week has introduced hundreds of locals to Fort Worth’s ever-growing local craft cocktail scene through our five signature events. We’ve cast a spotlight on some of our city’s best mixologists, cutting-edge trends, and exciting liquor brands –– and pairing these delicious discoveries with complementary food menus designed by chefs. This year, we’ll be adding educational components for industry veterans and home cocktail enthusiasts alike. As always, we’ll be using this platform to raise money for a worthy local charity. Visit the event page here.