A new local Mexican restaurant, Ruby’s, was met with a flood of customers at its 10 a.m. grand opening on Friday.

The business, owned and run by Ruby Dalia Abarca and her family, is the newest iteration of Abarca’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Many community members had eaten Abarca’s food before; she had previously sold tacos out of her home via Facebook.

“I went to their house, so it was a smaller place, but they stayed pretty packed,” Noemi Pedromo, a customer, said. “Just like this.”

Even before the scheduled opening time, cars filled the parking lot and a line was forming around the restaurant. More than 100 customers entered the building within the first hour of opening, many coming to try Abarca’s famous doblados and aguas frescas.

Workers, mindful of the coronavirus pandemic, did not have dine-in seating in the restaurant. Orders were brought out to cars by family members and volunteers of the restaurant.

“It’s pretty exciting (they’re opening), especially during the pandemic,” Pedromo said. “It’s a good sign that we’re thriving and that we’re doing good.”

Perdomo, who ordered a large platter of tacos, had eaten Abarca’s food at her home a month ago, and said she’s been “waiting for this place to open ever since.”

“My husband’s really excited, he’s been bugging me about coming here,” Pedromo said. “We won’t tell him I came for lunch without him.”

Ruby’s also sells quesadillas, ramen noodle soup and pizzadillas, along with chile candy.

“I’ve had her tacos before … and they’re delicious,” Ramiro Mata, one of the first customers, said.

He has only tried them once before after finding her ad on Facebook. When he heard that Abarca had opened a restaurant, he was “so excited about it.”

Ruby’s serves steak, pastor, barbacoa and shrimp meant choices. Most customers were looking forward to her doblados, tacos served with melted cheese, avocados and a broth-based dripping sauce.

“This is 100% authentic Mexican food,” Mata said. “It tastes like mother’s food, my grandmother’s food. I’ll be trying it every weekend if I can.”

Ruby’s, located at 2021 E. Gentry Parkway in Tyler, is open from 10 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

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Multimedia Journalist

Claire Wallace, an East Texan native, joined the team in July 2020, and is dedicated to bringing a complete look at the issues Tylerites are facing. She's previously worked for National Public Radio and The Tyler Loop.