More than Tacos: Mexican telenovela actor quits cameras, opens his own restaurant
Rodolfo Jimenez, who has acted in more than 10 telenovelas and films and is also known for modeling and hosting TV shows on the top Hispanic networks, has opened a Mexican restaurant in Dallas which is also a museum of "Lucha Libre".
A popular Mexican telenovela actor has left the cameras behind to be with his family and launch a new chapter in his life in Dallas, where he has opened a restaurant inspired by Mexican "lucha libre" freestyle wrestling.
"At this stage in my life I feel strongly that I should be fully taking care of my wife (Zulma Hernandez) and daughter (Julieta), in a way that maybe my life on television didn't allow," Rodolfo Jimenez said in an interview with EFE.
Jimenez, who has acted in more than 10 telenovelas and films and is also known for modeling and hosting TV shows on the top Hispanic networks, has opened a Mexican restaurant with a rather original ingredient.
Maskaras Mexican Grill in the heart of the Hispanic Oak Cliff neighborhood, minutes away from downtown Dallas, besides offering traditional dishes made with "family recipes," is also a kind of museum of Mexican freestyle wrestling featuring manikins of masked fighters like "The Saint," "The Mathematician" and "The Falcon," along with "Hurricane Ramirez" and "Terror Jr."
"We were a little tired of the old Mexican restaurant stereotype decorated with sombreros and photos of Pancho Villa or Emiliano Zapata," said the former host of "Despierta America," who has been a fan of Mexican freestyle wrestling since he was a youngster.
Jimenez wants this restaurant to be the first of many replicas around the country.
But besides the original masks and manikins of Mexican and US fighters around the establishment, what also attracts attention are the photos of Jimenez with celebs of recent years.
Among them are singers from Juan Gabriel to Chayanne and the Mexican actress Angelica Maria, who told Jimenez back in the 1990s that he ought to study acting, a suggestion that opened the doors to television fame for the actor of "Al Borde del Deseo" and "Alma Indomable."
Coming from a family of nine siblings, Jimenez worked as a child selling candy, shining shoes and washing cars in his native Guadalajara.
At age 15 he decided to take his chances in the United States, even though he crossed the border undocumented. Years later, in 1991, he returned to Mexico, but for the last decade has been settled in the US.
Jimenez does not completely dismiss a television comeback, but says it would have to be a sufficiently spectacular show to separate him from his family.