Old Mexico restaurant in Livonia closing permanently

cfc2b22f 52e6 49d3 8fdd ae7c795d6ad9 old mexico restaurant screen grab google street map

Old Mexico restaurant in Livonia closing permanently

Old Mexico Restaurant, a longtime fixture on Five Mile Road in Livonia serving up classic Mexican food, is permanently closing.

The last day for serving customers will be Sunday, said Nick Preece, an employee who answered the phone on Thursday.  

The lease is up on the building and the owners are ready to retire and relax,  Preece said. Old Mexico’s current owner, Sandy Longsdorf, could not be reached for comment.

Customers posted on Old Mexico’s Facebook page how much they like the place, how sad they are that it’s closing and how it will be missed. Many customers also posted about stopping in to dine one last time at Old Mexico. Preece confirmed that the restaurant has been swamped since people found out that it was closing. 

[ Want to know about business openings and closings in your neighborhood? Sign up here to have our Openings & Closings newsletter sent directly to your inbox ]

On several online sites, recent Old Mexico reviews have been mostly favorable. Some lauded the spot for its quality and consistent food. Reviewers also praised Old Mexico for its reasonable prices including a good-priced luncheon menu and generous portions.

One of Old Mexico’s most popular dishes is the Bob Talbert Quesadilla. Talbert, who died in 1999, was a longtime Detroit Free Press columnist. 

Preece described the popular menu item as a shredded chicken and red sauce quesadilla with spinach and melted Muenster cheese.

“It’s one of the most ordered quesadillas and a very loved dish,” Preece said.

The restaurant has been around for about 45 years and owned by Longsdorf for the last 20 years.

Previous owners of Old Mexico Livonia were Vicki and Ramon Castaneda who also had an Old Mexico location in West Bloomfield. The original Old Mexico location was in Detroit’s Old Redford area and the Livonia locations opened in the early 1980s. The Castanedas, according to their son, Tim Castaneda, still own the Livonia building.

More: Wyandotte Street Art Fair starts Wednesday: Where to eat, drink

More: Corktown noodle spot Ima Izayaka reopens in bigger space with expanded menu

It was Tim Castaneda who put the Bob Talbert Quesadilla on the menu of the West Bloomfield location in the late ’80s. 

“I used to make quesadilla specials every week in West Bloomfield and the week I made the spinach and chicken, Bob Talbert came in and had it,” Castaneda said.

In a 1997 column, Talbert described the quesadilla  as “large grilled flour tortilla filled with chicken, spinach and cheese …  it’s served with guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream instead of rice and beans.”

He also praised Old Mexico’s ranchero sauce.

Old Mexico Restaurant, 28407 Five Mile Road, Livonia,  will serve its last customers on Sunday and close at 8 p.m. 

Contact Detroit Free Press food writer Susan Selasky and send food and restaurant news to:  sselasky@freepress.com. Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.

Support local journalism and become a digital subscriber to the Free Press.