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Zanz Mexican restaurant under new ownership

Zanz Mexican Restaurant on Madison Avenue is taking up new ownership.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 10:36 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Perhaps you’ve seen the sign on Madison Avenue, maybe even stopped in for their famous cheese chilitos. A staple of Mankato, the family business Zanz Mexican Restaurant has been owned by the Otto family for the last 35 years.

“Families that come in and their grandparents and they’ve brought in their kids and their kids have brought in their kids,” Wesley Otto said.

Starting this week, Wesley and Molly Otto are taking over for their parents.

“I am 28 years old, so I like to tell people that I am a product of this restaurant because my parents met here, got married because of this place bought it and it has just always been a part of my life,” Wesley Otto said.

Both Welsey and Molly grew up with memories of Zanz, helping out their parents in the restaurant and making frequent visits to the longstanding Madison Avenue establishment.

“I know my dad used to bring me in a lot in the summer to help clean or to basically just stay out of my mom’s hair for a while,” Molly Otto said. “And my uncle used to work here and he would entertain me while my dad would be doing the opening duties.”

Molly handles more of the day-to-day responsibilities inside the restaurant while Wesley works more behind the scenes.

“There’s a lot of pride in taking over a business that has been around as long as it has just so grateful to what mom and dad have done,” Wesley Otto said.

The new owners say while staple menu items like cheese chillito aren’t going anywhere, diners could see some improvements complimenting the classic decor.

“We certainly have some plans, nothing to announce just yet, but I think in the long run as we continue to make this purchase because it will be a process we will continue to make improvements to the space as it is and there might even be some bigger changes down the road,” Wesley Otto said.

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