Comerica Corner: El Rancho Mexican Restaurant


Alfonso Avila and family have made a name for themselves in the Detroit community with their authentic and mouth-watering Mexican food.

El Rancho opened its doors on October 7, 1983; and, it has touched the lives and stomachs of Detroit residents for many years. The journey began in California when Alfonso and late wife, Lucia immigrated to the United States. Lucia’s father taught her how to cook while working in the fields. They made their way to Detroit to pursue automotive jobs and grew their family.

After their move to Detroit, the automotive companies where both parents worked, shut down. The couple were forced to look for other employment. One day while shopping at a Mexican grocery store in Southwest Detroit, a “lease” sign caught the family’s attention thus marking the inception of El Rancho. 

“El Rancho” was embraced by the community with the help of their banking partner. Comerica played a huge part in the upbringing of the Detroit Mexican restaurant. Coupled with the main ingredients, mom’s home cooking and recipes, the customers and the community felt right at home. It made El Rancho what it is today.

Five years after the launch of “El Rancho” the company was able to expand and grow with the vibrant Southwest Detroit community. “Comerica was instrumental in lending us the money for expansion,” Avila said. El Rancho’s relationship with Comerica allowed the family a second renovation in 2003, thus establishing it further as a staple in Metro Detroit. “We’ve grown with Comerica and with the community,” Avila said.

Each family member contributed to keep the restaurant up to par and running on all cylinders. Even when the number of Detroit residents decreased because of job loss, the family kept together and continued to progress.


-The values of El Rancho are cleanliness, delicious food, and excellent customer service.

-The name “El Rancho” was decided by the children because it reminded them of their yearly vacations to their grandmother’s ranch in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Nonetheless, family values have proven to be the engine that keeps the restaurant running. One of the most rewarding aspects of El Rancho is ensuring the well being of their employees and the total satisfaction of their customers. Alfonso Jr. states it best, “The food business is not easy, its success is tied to a collaboration of all family members involved inputting their experiences and hard work. If you mix that with a fantastic product, great employees and a community that embraces you, success is forth coming.”

“Knowing that we’ve been able to give more to the community and give more to families especially for those that have worked for us, has been our greatest satisfaction,” Avila said.

Alfonso Avila made his family a household name through the development and success of El Rancho. The Avila family has plans to renovate El Rancho in 2019 and is so grateful to its customers and Comerica.