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Our Story

When we opened the first Rosa Mexicano with chef and co-founder Josefina Howard in 1984, New York Magazine applauded us for introducing New Yorkers to a “hitherto unfamiliar, elevated version of Mexican cuisine." While we continue to serve our signature menu items,  including our Guacamole en Molcajete, prepared table side and our Pomegranate Margarita, we strive to redefine expectations with our contemporary Mexican cuisine, rooted in authentic flavors combined with stylish spaces, festive atmospheres and warm Latin hospitality. Our award-winning dishes remain faithful to their traditional Mexican roots while incorporating regional accents and inspired innovation.

Many people mistakenly think our founder's name was Rosa and that the restaurants should therefore be called Rosa Mexicana, with a feminine -a at the end rather than a masculine o, since in Spanish an adjective has the same gender as the noun it modifies. But rosa mexicano is the name of a color, and in Spanish all colors are masculine. Mexican pink is an exciting combination of blue, red, and white. It is different from other pinks and very difficult to achieve outside of the particular luminosity of Mexico

Our newest generation of restaurants are defined by stunning modern interiors featuring dramatic architectural details including cascading water walls against a vibrant palette of purples, pinks, reds and oranges. With 11 locations from New York to Los Angeles, our restaurants continue to receive rave reviews from both loyal and new guests. 

Our Founders

Today, guests at Rosa Mexicano continue to be the beneficiaries of Josefina's devoted search for the freshest ingredients and passionate immersion in the country and a "cuisine full of possibilities." Under their aegis of our Co-Founders Doug Griebel and Dan Hickey, the brand grew from a popular New York City restaurant into 11 units in the U.S. that include four in New York and other locations including Washington, DC; Boston, Massachusetts; Riverside, New Jersey; National Harbor, Maryland; Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; and Miami, Florida. Over the years Rosa Mexicano has won many awards and commendations including the highest culinary award from the Mexican Government for having been the most effective in defining and promoting Mexican haute cuisine in the United States. These career restaurant professionals worked in a variety of leadership roles as their company expanded.

Josefina Howard
Our Founder

For more than 15 years, Josefina Howard was the Executive Chef & Co-Owner of the original Rosa Mexicano on First Avenue near 58th Street in New York. Josefina's knowledge of regional Mexican cuisine and her dedication to providing genuine flavors and tastes quickly made Rosa Mexicano a destination for lovers of authentic Mexican cuisine. Born in Cuba, Josefina Howard was raised in Spain and lived in France, Italy, Mexico and the United States.

Doug Griebel

Doug Griebel graduated from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio in 1974 with a B.A. in Business Administration and is a former 16 year member of the Board of Trustees for Marietta College. A longtime supporter of the restaurant industry, he is a member of the National Restaurant Association, former President of the Manhattan Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association and a co-founder and President of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.  In addition, Doug is a longtime supporter of local community organizations including currently service as President of the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District, a former board member of the Westside YMCA in Manhattan, a member of the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, a trustee of the Collegiate School Manhattan and a member of the Harlem Academy, and served for seven years as a board member of Community Board #7.  Doug resides in Manhattan with his wife Sandra Colosimo Griebel and their son, Jack.

Dan Hickey
Dan Hickey is a native New Yorker who completing his graduate studies at New York University, worked as a high school teacher in New York for several years before beginning his restaurant career in 1978. In 1984 he and Doug joined forces with Joesfina Howard to develop and grow the first Rosa Mexicano restaurant which is still in operation at E. 58th St and 1st Ave. Since founding of the company Dan has been an active member of the management team that oversaw daily operation of the restaurants. Dan lives on Manhattans Upper Westside with his wife Kathy.