notes from the mexican kitchen

A Message of Strength & Solidarity

For three decades, we’ve been a place that has welcomed, respected and promoted our immigrant staff, friends and restaurant family.

Out of respect for our staff’s vote to support Thursday’s immigrant civil actions in Chicago and elsewhere, we are closing Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Xoco and Fonda Frontera on Thursday.

Cruz Blanca and Leña Brava will remain open Thursday, with 10 percent of gross revenue headed to Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

We believe lasting change is achieved incrementally, and if you can’t participate, we encourage you make contributions to groups working to make lasting change. Here are some suggestions:

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

American Civil Liberties Union

Immigrant  Youth Justice League

Sanctuary Restaurants

National Immigration Law Center

National Organization for Women

Southern Poverty Law Center



  1. Good for you! We are supporting our community locally in Bloomington, IL. We will continue to patronize your establishments & provide support.

    1. Yes, very.
      This was a slap in the face to my wife (who is a LEGAL immigrant) and all other legal immigrants. Mr. Bayless basically allowed himself to become a tool of the radical leftist agitators who are trying to take over this country. By supporting the grouping of illegals with legal immigrants he has lost our respect . Despite our having enjoyed his shows over the years, we will no longer support him in any way.

      1. By the way my wife is a nurse. How would he have felt if a loved one went to the hospital, but could not get help due to people not showing up for work? His actions were irresponsible to say the least.

      2. S. West, your wife and you are dissapointed? Probably your Wife forgot that she IS an immigrant too! and that if she feels comfortable in this country now, is because she married you!
        Solidarity is a very important value! does not belong to the right or to the left! it is a Human Value!

    2. dissapointment? for you ! señor Reyes, you are an immigrant or the son of immigrant parents. You need to educate yourself about why people come to this country! How that need is related to the social conditions, the economy of those countries backed up by USA government, keeps its people oppressed and mistreated for years. People come here for a better life, to work hard, to find education for their children, relief from persecution! Read, look for information, be human!

  2. I have always admired & respected you for your skill. I now have a deeper respect for you for showing solidarity to immigrants. Thank you.

  3. I am so proud to say Frontera (and its progeny)
    is my favorite restaurant. A third generation of Leffs is carrying on our tradition. We all support your Thursday closing and we support immigration rights. Onward!

  4. It’s never been more important to stand up for what’s right or to do our part to save our country and our world, to save ourselves. Anything any of us can do contributes toward the whole. Thank you for doing something noble and meaningful, and thank you to your immigrant staff for working so hard to make dreams come true.

  5. Rick, where was your support/outrage in 2012 when Obama deported 400K illegals. It was a record number! Most any president has ever deported! Trump hasnt even come close to that number! YOU WERE SILENT!! YOU KEPT YOUR BUSINESS OPEN! You are a hypocrite!! I always enjoyed your shows. WILL NEVER WATCH AGAIN! Very sad you had to politicize your restaurants! You should just stick with what you know, especially when you call out one president but not another.

  6. Kudos to you for standing up for what is right — and standing with your employees in support. This action will garner even more loyalty amongst your staff, and you now have a new customer…

  7. Flying into Chicago tomorrow and looking forward to dinner at Frontera Griill. Disappointed but totally supportive. Thank you for honoring the wishes of your staff.

  8. Thank you not for loving Mexico but for showing that this is not about ilegals. This is for immigration and human beings for the right of being treated as such.

  9. Shoulda stayed out of politics Rick. Can’t respect a guy that wants to incorrectly promote a political stance. We are not an anti-immigrant country, we simply and rightfully expect immigration laws to be followed. Your staff should not be taking any offense (nor it being promoted by you) to the expectation that the immigration process be adhered to. It is a slap in the face to those of us who came here legally, often after patient years of waiting.

    1. Nonsense.

      Rick is being the best kind of American citizen, one who takes his First Amendment rights seriously (as we all should, especially when people like Bannon tell respected journalists to shut up), and who values and listens to his staff at a time when employee rights to be heard are demeaned and disappearing.

      The GOP was not always this stupid and hard-assed when it came to immigration. Presidents Reagan and GHW Bush would not have promoted the kind of narrow and cruel ideas and practices we are witnessing now from Trump (who once hired illegal immigrants himself, when it suited HIS purpose).

      However they got here, if immigrants are now contributing members of their respective communities, then we need to streamline the path to full citizenship.

    2. Are you paying everyone for the day? You get a day off and your employees get shorted a day’s pay they cannot afford to lose. Notice this is not scheduled for a weekend day that is the most profitable for you and the restaurant. Stay out of politics and cook good food.

  10. Nicely Done Chef! This business grinds to a halt without the contributions of our brothers and sisters from across the border.

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