BRIDGEPORT — After running the Azteca Market for several years, owner David Vasquez has his sights set on opening a Mexican restaurant under the Azteca name.
Pending an official vote by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, Vasquez is looking to open Azteca Restaurant in the same building as his market at 522 Pequonnock St.
According to Vasquez, opening the restaurant will boost the business scene in the area, while allowing him and his family to continue to serve their community.
“When we moved here we didn’t see too many Mexican restaurants, so we wanted to bring something to the community and something different than what they are used to here in Bridgeport,” he said.
The 68-seat restaurant would feature a full-service bar, according to Vasquez, and a menu of authentic Mexican cuisine made from family recipes.
Vasquez has been running Azteca Market with his family for five years, selling groceries and sandwiches to a growing customer base. According to the Bridgeport resident, it was time to expand into a larger space with another business concept.
“We sell food, and right now we have customers coming in, and we don’t have enough seating space so we started doing some seating up front,” he said, adding that he decided to set up shop in an empty storefront within the same building on Pequonnock Street.
This will be the second time Vasquez has submitted an application for the restaurant, after the ZBA denied the initial plans in mid-October.
After making a few changes with architect Leonardo Rodriguez, of Rodriguez Associates Architects, Vasquez said he was ready to take one more shot at getting the restaurant approved.
“We made some revisions and resubmitted, but on the second submission we haven’t been able to appear in front of (the ZBA),” Rodriguez said.
While neither Vasquez nor Rodriguez saw any reason to deny plans for the establishment this time, there is another factor that may keep the restaurant from coming to fruition.
According to Vasquez, another crucial component is getting necessary permits to serve alcohol at the restaurant.
“We’ve just been having a little bit of trouble trying to get that permit, but we really can’t open a Mexican restaurant without liquor,” Vasquez said. Without liquor licenses, Vasquez said he would not want to follow through with opening the restaurant.
According to Rodriguez, Azteca Restaurant is awaiting word on two applications that were submitted to the ZBA and planning and zoning to secure the restaurant’s liquor license and other necessary permits.
“Doing a Mexican restaurant in the City of Bridgeport without a liquor permit, your choices would be to come to the city of Bridgeport and have a Mexican dinner without having a margarita or going to Fairfield, Trumbull or Stratford and things like that,” Rodriguez said.Read Full Article
If he gets the necessary approvals, Vasquez said he wants to open the restaurant open by the summer.
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