Liquor License Approved For New Mexican Restaurant

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Liquor License Approved For New Mexican Restaurant

California, MD - 3/17/2013

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By Dick Myers

The St. Mary’s County Alcohol Beverage Board (liquor board) has approved license for a new Mexican restaurant on Route 235 in California. The restaurant to be called Plaza Tolteca is located next to La Quinta Inn & Suites in a building that has housed a number of different restaurants in the past. The unanimous approval at Thursday regular liquor board meeting was for purchase of a Class B (Restaurant) Beer, Wine and Liquor License and to allow corkage (customers can bring in their own wine).

Licensees are David Carrillo, Maria Olga Ruiz and Daniel William Muchow. Their attorney John F. Slade, IV told the board that Carrillo is part of a family who operate three other Mexican restaurants, In Aberdeen and Bel Air, MD and York, PA. Slade said Carrillo and his cousin, who has been involved in the business, would manage the local restaurant initially and the cousin eventually take over.

Carrillo, 26, described the business as family-oriented. When asked by Chairman Moses Saldana, Jr. how they would compete amid the proliferation of restaurants along the highway, Carrillo said “We have a good work ethic, good service and a really solid product.” He added that their product would be more authentic Mexican than the other restaurants in the area.

Two Mexican restaurants recently closed in the Lexington Park area, the El Cerro Grande in the Days Inn (their Leonardtown location remains open) and CoCo Cantina in the former Lone Star location. Board Administrator Tamara Hildebrand said the licensee of CoCo Cantina notified the board they had closed but hoped to reopen, although they have not applied for a renewal. Also, Monterey is moving from its San Souci Plaza location to the former Damon’s across from the base Gate 1 and changing its name.

Carrillo said he learned about the vacant restaurant location from his landlord in Aberdeen who also owns the La Quinta in California. He said the landlord was impressed with the quality of the restaurant in Aberdeen and encouraged Carrillo to open next to him in California. He said he hoped his dinner business would be helped with patrons from the motel.

Carrillo said he expected to be open within 30 days once the county Use and Occupancy Permit was issued. He said most of the interior work was completed and they were waiting to be hooked up by the gas company.

The board issued a contingent 90-day license to give them time to complete all the work that has to be done.

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