After six years in Cedar Rapids, a very popular Mexican restaurant is opening a second location on the other side of the city.

El Bajio Mexican Restaurant opened in 2016 just off 6th Street and 33rd Avenue at 555 Gateway Place SW, and it's been a big success. According to its website, "The family behind El Bajio Mexican Restaurant is proud to bring the flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine to the locals of Cedar Rapids." The locals have definitely approved. People love the place. El Bajio has more than 1,100 google reviews and those reviews equate to 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Now, El Bajio has crews working on their second location, at 1140 Blairs Ferry Road NE. It will be located in the same building as Dunn Brothers Coffee and the Good Feet Store, across from Burger King.

Owner Javier Garcia told me earlier this week that the new restaurant will be a little larger than the first location. The 3,569 square foot restaurant will seat between 130 and 150 people, according to Garcia.

Before we take a look at some of the phenomenal-looking food from El Bajio's, let's talk about something that's referenced on the outside of their west-side location: The Scorpion Challenge.

Julie James
Julie James
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Here is one of the victorious challengers:

So how many people have gulped down a scorpion with their drink? According to Garcia, approximately 1,000 over the last few years. He told me the restaurant gets four or five scorpions each week and "they're gone." Over the years, Garcia says only a handful of people haven't finished the job.

Now while you won't catch me taking the Scorpion Challenge, you will definitely find me sampling the food featured in the photos below. Garcia says he hopes El Bajio's second Cedar Rapids location will be open in a couple of months.

El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
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Green Chilaquiles:

El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
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Seafood Tower:

El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
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Pozole Mexican Soup:

El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
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Mojarra:

El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
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Tacos:

El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
El Bajio Mexican Restaurant
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