STAMFORD — Thomas Kelly and his colleagues at Mexicue spent the past couple of years looking for a location with the ingredients for the restaurant to expand outside New York City. They found it on the waterfront in the city’s South End.
The Mexican-influenced Mexicue opened Thursday its fourth establishment, at 15 Harbor Point Road, in the Harbor Point complex. It is taking some 5,000 square feet in a space formerly occupied by the Latin-tinged Paloma, as it joins a busy restaurant row whose lineup continues to change.
“We looked at locations in Fairfield and Westchester counties and Philadelphia, but as soon as we saw this space, it was kind of a done deal,” Kelly, Mexicue’s founder and president, said in an interview last week at the restaurant. “Having a nice, big open space on the water within this vibrant community here was a no-brainer.”
Harbor Point comprises Mexicue’s first location outside New York City. The business started in 2010 as a food truck in Manhattan and Brooklyn, before opening brick-and-mortar locations in Manhattan at 1440 Broadway in 2014 and 225 Fifth Ave. in 2015. Another Mexicue in Manhattan opened last year at 160 Eighth Ave.
A good mix
The new eatery overlooks the mouth of the Rippowam River and stands adjacent to the Beacon apartment building and office blocks at 2200 Atlantic St. and 100 Washington Blvd.
“It’s a good mix of residential and business, which will hopefully mean a good mix of people coming by in the meal periods,” Kelly said.
Kelly describes the menu as “primarily a modern American take on Mexican.” The fare includes tacos, burritos, sliders, chili and salad bowls and churro nachos. The drinks list features tequilas, bourbons, beers and cocktails composed of tequila and bourbon.
“It’s very much a customizable eating experience,” Kelly said. “All of the tacos, sliders and burritos are served individually and in small sizes, so you can have several different items. … We added a really cool lobster taco, which is like a play on a lobster roll. And we have a fried fish taco in addition to the baked fish taco we normally do.”
Mexicue seats about 200 on two levels. The second floor includes a roof deck and private-event space. Mexicue will set up outdoor dining in the warmer months.
The restaurant will start with about 45 employees, and it is hiring more.
‘The more the merrier’
Mexicue joins a restaurant row that also includes Sign of the Whale, Boothbay Lobster, Bareburger and Fortina.
“We love our neighbors here; it’s 100 percent collaborative,” Kelly said. “The phrase ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ applies very much to a neighborhood like this. The more restaurant and retail concepts that build the community, the better.”Read Full Article
Other restaurants said they welcomed Mexicue’s arrival.
“The more, the merrier — more restaurants and more people help Harbor Point,” said Dana Jevarjian, marketing manager for Bareburger, at 21 Harbor Point Road. “There’s great variety here in Harbor Point: You have burgers, seafood, Mexican and Italian. There’s a little something for everyone. It’s a great neighborhood.”
Among other upcoming arrivals on the block, the owners of Patisserie Salzburg — which has two cafes in Westchester County, N.Y. — plan to open a third location in the spring at 2 Harbor Point Road.
A couple of doors down, the World of Beer chain several weeks ago closed its restaurant-bar at 18 Harbor Point Road.
Building and Land Technology, the Stamford-based developer that owns the buildings on Harbor Point Road, hopes to bring in another restaurant at 18 Harbor Point Road and wants to recruit a coffeehouse to the adjacent 24 Harbor Point Road. A coffee establishment was supposed to open last year at 24 Harbor Point, but the prospective tenant, Zona, eventually jettisoned the plan.
“We’ve still got a number of restaurants that are doing great,” said BLT Chief Operating Officer Ted Ferrarone. “We’re always fine-tuning the mix and trying to find restaurants that will resonate with both the residents and office tenants in Harbor Point.”
Residential growth in Harbor Point underpins the popularity of its restaurant row. A 392-unit building opened last year at 100 Commons Park North. A couple of blocks away, BLT is building 435 units in two towers on a site between Harbor Point Road, Pacific Street and Dyke Lane.
“The winter is the slower season, but we’re already gearing up for the spring and summer, and every year is busier,” said AJ Polizzi, general manager of Sign of the Whale at 6 Harbor Point Road. “With the new apartments, the area is growing exponentially. We’re doing really well.”
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