SOUTHINGTON — A Wallingford Mexican-American restaurant expanded to Southington and replaced a similarly-themed eatery on West Street that closed earlier this year.
Maria Labrada, owner of Los Mariachis at 105 N. Colony St. in Wallingford, is opening another location of the same name at 2176 West St.
Labrada’s restaurant will replace the now-closed Casa Margarita, a former McDonald’s location across the street from ESPN.
A worker at the Wallingford location said Labrada wasn’t available for comment.
In September, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved restaurant liquor service and patio liquor service for the new restaurant. Ray Ragaini, a liquor permit consultant hired by Labrada, said the layout of Los Mariachis will follow that of Casa Margarita, although some cosmetic changes will be made.
It’ll have live bands, including two-piece mariachi performers who move from table to table, according to Ragaini, as well as karaoke.
Labrada opened Los Mariachis 10 years ago. The restaurant offers lunch fare, such as soups and sandwiches, along with burritos, quesadillas and fajitas.
According to a legal notice published Friday, Labrada has a pending liquor permit application with the state.
According to the town’s Building Department, Casa Margarita had done extensive work last year and received its certificate of occupancy on Sept. 10, 2015. Los Mariachis did receive a building permit in October, but hasn’t yet received its occupancy certificate.
Lou Perillo, the town’s economic development coordinator, said the West Street location has good traffic and a restaurant there could serve a growing area of town.
While previous restaurants had failed in the location, he said it may not be due to the location, since restaurants in general have a high failure rate.
“Because these folks have experience, I think they’ll be a good fit,” he said of Los Mariachis.
A Mexican restaurant complete with traditional music can also become a regional destination.
“You know when you want Mexican or Chinese food; you’re willing to go to it,” Perillo said. “It has the potential to be a good draw.”
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