El Mexicano Owners Planning Sister Concept For The Beacon Atlanta

The yet-to-be-named restaurant will offer 'California-influenced, traditional Mexican food' in Grant Park.

The yet-to-be-named restaurant would offer ‘California-influenced, traditional Mexican food’ in Grant Park.

A California couple is looking to bring authentic Mexican food to The Beacon Atlanta.

Wife and husband team Roxana and Octavio Aguirre, who moved to Atlanta to takeover El Mexicano at 1341 Moreland Avenue SE, have secured a lease to open a 2,764-square-foot (plus a 1,000-square-foot patio) yet-to-be-named Mexican restaurant in the Grant Park development.

“Our restaurant will serve authentic Mexican,” Roxana told What Now Atlanta in a telephone interview Friday.

“There’s a misconception in Georgia that Mexican food is supposed to be cheesy and gooey. In Mexico, restaurants don’t even cook with yellow cheese. That’s more of a Tex-Mex thing.”

The Aguirres, having lived in California their whole lives, decided to move to Atlanta and “go for it,” acquiring El Mexicano and giving the restaurant of “more than 25 years some much needed tender love and care.” 

In California, Octavio worked in the restaurant business in every capacity from dishwasher, to front of the house, to cook, and Roxana was a first grade teacher.

“We both love food and we both love Mexican food, but Mexican food done right.”

In The Beacon Atlanta, the Aguirres’ yet-to-be-named restaurant could serve traditional Mexican fare like Barbacoa, “but the right way of cooking it” and Cochinita Pibil, a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatán Península.

Atlantans can also expect street food like Tacos de Papa (potato tacos), Roxana said.

“In Mexico everyone knows how to make [Tacos de Papa] but here in Atlanta there’s nowhere to get it. At El Mexicano, the street tacos are the most popular tacos that we have.”

Everything would be made with fresh ingredients daily, including Margaritas, and Tequila would be treated with respect.

“In America, Tequila is all about shots. We want to showcase fresh food, traditional drinks, and we want people to get that vibe when they arrive. A different side of Mexico. The traditional side.”

Expect El Mexicano’s sister concept to open sometime in August or September 2017.

As for El Mexicano, its fate is uncertain as the lease expires in 2018.

“The landlord was unable to tell me if we’re going to be able to renew our lease. The space might be demolished to make way for a shopping center.”

Tacos and Agua Fresca at El Mexicano.
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Tacos and Agua Fresca at El Mexicano.

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak (CJS) is the Founder of What Now Atlanta (WNA). He was featured in The New York Times, Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch," named "Lifestyle Blogger You Need To Know" by Rolling Out Magazine and highlighted as Atlanta's Metropolitan Male in fashion magazine, 944. WNA has been named "Best of Atlanta" by Creative Loafing, and Atlanta and Jezebel Magazines.

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7 Comments

    1. Eater and The AJC don’t want to cover the Beacon. Could they be in the pocket of Jamestown and Paces Properties? Are you Mel?
      What is wrong with the coverage? The Beacon will not have any national chains or outside management. What is your issue?

  1. We love El Mexicano and we don’t need another shopping center. Please renew that lease! Regardless we’ll definitely be visiting their new restaurant as well!

  2. Really need to get the Beltline going in this part of time. Don’t see the Beacon succeeding without it………..

  3. El Mexicano is a treasure! I would hate to see them lose the lease that turned Moreland Ave. into a dining destination, but The Beacon is closer to home for me so bring it on!

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