“I feel a hot wind on my shoulder/And the touch of a world that is older.”
— Wall of Voodoo’s track “Mexican Radio,” 1982
The band had no idea that its lyrics were prophetic of the Schenectady restaurant Mexican Radio, which opened Monday. Outside, in the patio area, gusts of wind from passing Amtrak trains ruffle the grass skirt umbrellas.
As for the “world that is older,” anyone who knows Schenectady’s history will appreciate the rich past of the brick building where fajitas and tacos are now served. The building first existed as a department store named the Imperial. Today, patrons seated in the restaurant’s outdoor patio can see the crumbling white words “Uneeda Biscuit,” one of the only remaining “ghost signs” — advertisements painted straight onto brick walls — in the Capital Region.
Mark Young, one of the owners of Mexican Radio, cited the Wall of Voodoo song as inspiration for his restaurants’ name. The song’s single reference to food appears in the third verse: “I wish I was in Tijuana/Eating barbequed iguana.”
Although the menu at Mexican Radio includes many authentic Mexican dishes, barbequed iguana did not make the cut.