New Digs

Rubios open Tapatio's
Mexican Restaurant at new location

The restaurant features colorful murals by artist Torres

(April 2021) – When driving down Clifty Drive on Madison, Ind., hilltop, visitors and residents can hardly miss the bright yellow building arrayed with custom artwork. The building, located at 1111 Clifty Drive, is the new home of Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, which has been serving up classic Mexican cuisine to Madisonians since 1990.
After nearly a year of waiting, customers were delighted on March 11 with the colorful artistic décor, additional menu items and same family-friendly atmosphere Tapatio has already established.
“We have missed our customers, and we are happy to be open again,” said Oscar Rubio, co-owner with wife, Gladys. “The community has been so good to us, and we are so grateful for the support we receive.”


Photo provided

Oscar and Gladys Rubio pose inside their new Tapatio's on Clifty Drive in Madison, Ind.

Rubio knew early in life he wanted to work in the restaurant industry. He moved to Chicago when he was 11 years old, and by the time he was 13, he was working in a Chicago pizzeria learning how to make pizzas.
As an adult, he relocated to Georgia, where he learned the art of making fine Mexican cuisine, and he learned how to operate a restaurant. He opened several Mexican restaurants in Tennessee before settling in Indiana. He has opened restaurants throughout the state, and recently, he decided he was going to focus solely on his Madison location.
“COVID-19 was very difficult for us. We were barely surviving and had to make the decision to close our Columbus, Ind., store,” said Rubio. “We feel our new location in Madison has great opportunity, and our customer support is strong here.”
In addition to Tapatio’s traditional menu, five new dishes have been added to the menu. “I love cooking, and I love to modify my own recipes,” said Rubio. “I put my heart and effort into keeping people satisfied. I love what I do. We work to keep pricing low, portions large and food quality superb.”

Jose Torres

Photo by Konnie McCollum

Artist Jose Torres poses beside one of his murals at Tapatio's.

One customer, Iron-worker Lance Green, of Switzerland County, Ind., had been waiting patiently for the restaurant to re-open. “I’ve been a customer of Tapatio for more than seven years,” he said. “I’ve traveled the country for my job, and I’ve eaten at many Mexican restaurants. Tapatio is my favorite because of the top-notch food, atmosphere and great customer service.”
Green dined at the restaurant within the first week it was re-opened and was pleasantly surprised at the new custom artwork inside the building. “Mexican food is my favorite. Anywhere I travel, I try to find a local, authentic Mexican restaurant,” he said. “Without a doubt, Tapatio has the best food and décor I’ve ever seen. The colorful hand-painted murals and the happy environment are well above that of the average Mexican restaurant. Madison is very fortunate to have such a great place.”
Indeed, the crafted historic murals covering the walls are unique to Tapatio. Artist Jose Torres has been creating custom artwork for restaurants for more than 10 years. In December 2020, Torres traveled to Madison from his residence in Georgia and spent two weeks painting the inside walls of the building. He devoted more than 12 hours a day to create the finely detailed paintings flourishing on every wall in the building.
“I blend the history and culture of Mexico into my artwork,” he said. “I have worked in more than 33 states, and I design each painting for that specific site.” Torres returned to Madison in mid-March 2021 to complete the artwork on the exterior of the building.

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