14 Dec Jonathan Cartu Declared: Live entertainment, Mexican food coming with new restaurant
A long-vacant Turlock building will soon see new life,
thanks to a Sonora restaurateur who has decided to bring his expertise to the
The City of Turlock Planning Commission approved plans
submitted by Jose Pulido to re-open the existing two-story restaurant located
at 309 N. Center St — the former location of Jura’s Pizza Parlor. While the
space has also been home to Mexican restaurants in the past like El Antojito
and Cancun’s Bar and Grill, Pulido plans to revamp the building’s interior and
open another restaurant with a Latin flair at the location named Nivel
Restaurant and Lounge.
“We want to give it a Mexico City vibe and make it a little
more lively,” Pulido said.
A Sonora native, Pulido operates two other Mexican restaurants
in the foothills: Cazadora Restaurante in downtown Sonora and Morelia Mexican
Restaurant in Jamestown. His wife, Maria Pulido, is the head chef at both
restaurants and will be in charge of the cuisine at Nivel as well.
“She really has her own special taste. It’s a different type
of Mexican food — it’s not typical,” Pulido said.
The restaurant location in downtown Turlock will add to the
area’s nightlife scene, with Pulido utilizing the first-floor space of the
restaurant as a lounge and live entertainment area. While the exterior of the
building will remain similar to its current appearance, save for a few fresh
coats of paint and new stucco, the interior will feature a revamped, all-white
atmosphere complete with plenty of booth seating in both the lounge and
second-story restaurant area.
“The whole basement area will open for hanging out, drinks
and hopefully dancing,” Pulido said. “Most of the time it will be more for
lounging. There will be ambient music and we might bring in bands a couple of
times a year, but mostly it’s going to be mariachi and not a super crazy
Pulido’s family has lived in Sonora for 25 years, he said.
Their Jamestown restaurant has thrived for decades, while their Sonora eatery
has become a popular destination in downtown Sonora.
“When we first opened close to downtown, people told me I
was crazy because there were so many other Mexican restaurants,” Pulido said.
“Now we’ve been there almost five years.”
Pulido said that Nivel Restaurant and Lounge likely won’t
open until next September. There’s plenty to do, he added, as the building has
sat vacant for quite some time and was subjected to vandalism by transients who
found their way inside.
“It basically needs a facelift,” Pulido said. “We’re looking
forward to it. I have family here in Turlock and I wanted to move out here
because it’s the same kind of small, tight-knit community.”