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Local Mexican restaurant owner planning to transform former Mitchell gas station into Asian food business

“It would be more of like a quick service place where you come in and order your food, kind of like a little Panda Garden Express," Josh Espinosa said of the restaurant he's seeking to open along Sanborn Boulevard

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Shown here is the Easy Come and Easy Go gas station along Sanborn Boulevard that a Mitchell Mexican restaurant owner is seeking to transform into an Asian restaurant.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — An owner of a local Mexican restaurant is planning to open a new Asian food establishment inside the former Easy Come and Easy Go gas station building along Sanborn Boulevard.

During Monday’s city Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Josh Espinosa, co-owner of Mitchell’s El Columpio and Corona Village Mexican restaurants, unveiled his plans to open what he calls a “quick service” restaurant that will serve up a wide variety of Asian cuisine and other specialty items.

Espinosa’s plan was met with strong support from the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday, as the panel unanimously approved the plan.

“It would be more of like a quick service place where you come in and order your food, kind of like a little Panda Garden Express. We will have both Oriental food and other items for all ages,” Espinosa said.

Inside the restaurant, which Espinosa plans to call Mya's Teriyaki, a tea and smoothie bar will also be featured.

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The 503 N. Sanborn Boulevard building will undergo a major transformation for the new food establishment to begin operating. Designs show the restaurant would be capable of seating up to 40 people. Floor plans submitted to the city show a walk up window would be installed on the south side of the building for customers to place orders.

A roughly 17-stall parking lot is also planned to be located along the west side of the building. Espinosa’s attorney, Don Petersen, said crews have begun removing the gas tanks that sit on the west side of the property.

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Shown here is the former Easy Come and Easy Go gas station that sits on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sanborn Boulevard. A Mitchell restaurant owner is planning to transform the building into an oriental food establishment.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Espinosa pointed to the labor shortage as a major reason he’s sticking with the quick service style of operation for now. However, he indicated that the establishment could become more of a full-scale restaurant in the future.

The site where Espinosa is gearing up to open his latest local food establishment has housed a number of gas stations spanning over several decades. Easy Come and Easy Go was the most recent gas station to operate out of the 2,450-square-foot building.

The property has been listed on the market for roughly two years until Espinosa recently bought it.

City Planner Mark Jenniges said Espinosa has already submitted a site plan for the business, bringing him one step closer to opening Mya’s Teriyaki. Espinosa didn’t disclose a timeline for when he plans to open the restaurant.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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