Borderland Facebook foodies having fun rating restaurants with Juarez celebrity scale

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Garnachas y restaurantes Juárez y El Paso is a Facebook group that has been gaining popularity among border residents. It began as a hobby two years ago and now is an online community with more than 50,000 members.

The driving motivation for the group is to stimulate Juarez business and entertainment activity following a half decade of a declining economy and business closings sparked by high crime and violence.

Group members rate Juarez restaurants and cafes on a scale of one to 10, using colloquial Juarez personalities such as superstar “divo” Juan Gabriel and the well-known clown Niko Lico, and others. For example, ten “Juangas” means the establishment is super good and one Niko Lico, means it is awful.

Group members are referred to as “garnacheros,” a colloquial expression for food and snacks. The group founder Daniel Vargas, a Juarez entrepreneur and real estate broker, has been working closely with the Camara Nacional de Comercio y Servicios de Turismo en Ciudad Juarez to organize city-wide events around food, including last year’s Beer Fest that drew many residents.

It’s next challenge is to expand its Facebook ratings system to food establishments in sister city, El Paso, Texas.

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