Joseph Rowan

Owner of Vivir Modern Mexican

Impact: Bringing authentic Mexican cuisine to downtown dining

Joseph Rowan fell in love with the cuisine and culture of Mexico during a trip to Los Cabos. That culinary experience planted a seed that led to the creation of Vivir Modern Mexican.

Vivir celebrated its one year anniversary in January, bringing authentic Mexican cuisine with premier ingredients to downtown Findlay. As a young entrepreneur, Joseph has learned the ins and outs of the business world through the experience of opening a restaurant. With a passion for his work and business savvy, he proves that hard work and determination pay off.

A Findlay native, Joseph graduated from Arlington High School in 2009. He went on to attend Northern Kentucky University and Bowling Green State University, graduating with a degree in business administration and a minor in human resources. A skilled website and logo designer, he’s found those attributes to be incredibly useful as a small business owner. Joseph and his wife Melanie’s one-year-old daughter, Eloise, was born just prior to the opening of Vivir.

A whirlwind learning experience

Joseph learned that persistence is a key factor in getting things done. It took him about a year of knocking on doors and networking to get to the restaurant’s opening day. “In the business world, it’s not about sitting around and waiting, it’s about going out there and getting. I know that sounds super cliche, but that is exactly what you need to do,” he explains.

The restaurant’s first year has been a whirlwind, Joseph explains, adding, “We’ve made mistakes and we’ve learned from them. We have adapted. You can establish a menu, not knowing how people will respond to it, but then you’ve got to listen to the people. They are the clientele, the ones you’re there for.”


Watching ideas come to life

Joseph enjoys watching ideas come to fruition quickly in the restaurant industry. “If we have an idea, we can initiate it the next day. And it’s just great to see that immediate response, whether the response is bad or good. You’re learning each time you’re doing something and you are adapting new products. Ultimately, that’s my favorite thing.”

Cochinita pibil with red pickled onion is one example, a delicious creation that Joseph enjoys. “The flavors match so perfectly. We use the entire pork shoulder and it’s simmered in amazing spices all day. Then it’s paired with a house pickled red onion and cilantro. You don’t need a bunch of ingredients to make something delicious,” he says.

Joseph’s passion for excellent food and gathering people together make Vivir a fun dining experience. With many new ideas to try, and a focus on his customers, Findlay is fortunate to have a passionate entrepreneur like Joseph Rowan.

Vivir Modern Mexican
119 E Crawford St, Findlay | 567-271-0174. |
11am-3pm & 5-9pm, Monday-Thursday.
11am-10pm, Friday-Saturday.


What is your favorite place to eat in Findlay? Stix.
What is your favorite local coffee shop? We Serve. Coffee. That has been my office because it’s right down the alley from Vivir.
What is your favorite local ice cream place? Archie’s.
Where is your favorite place to spend time outdoors in Findlay? The South Main neighborhood. We have walked the Donnell Park area a thousand times.

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