Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pomona welcomes new restaurant

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 3/15/2013

POMONA — The decor and menu reflect the flavors of Mexico.

But the most important keys to any successful restaurant, no matter what the cuisine, are food and service spiced with quality, restaurateur Rafael Martinez said.

POMONA — The decor and menu reflect the flavors of Mexico.

But the most important keys to any successful restaurant, no matter what the cuisine, are food and service spiced with quality, restaurateur Rafael Martinez said.

“Good food and good service will bring customers back, and repeat business is very important,” he said.

Rafael and Maricela Martinez planned to open Amigos Mexican Restaurant today at 234 E. Franklin St., Pomona.

The restaurant is expected to offer a variety of Mexican dishes, Rafael Martinez said about noon Friday as he inspected the new stainless steel kitchen equipment.

Menu items include fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, steaks, quesadillas, several Mexican grilled chicken dishes, chimichangas, vegetarian dinners, combination plates and lunch specials. Appetizers, soups, salads, a la carte items and desserts also are included on the menu. Dishes include such items as Steak Jalisco, Pollo Cancun, Enchiladas Verdes, Burrito Sancho and Fajitas Amigos — to name a few.

“I learned how to cook from my brother-in-law, Rafael Lopez,” Martinez said. “He’s had four or five restaurants that have been successful, and everyone likes the food.”

The Martinez family has about nine years in the restaurant business, Maricela Martinez said. She and her husband also own El Paso Mexican Restaurant in Holden, Mo.

“We’ve had a lot of people ask us, ‘When are you going to open?’” she said. “I think everyone is really excited about the restaurant opening up. We will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.”

Rafael Martinez said the restaurant plans to offer margaritas and beer in the future, but Amigos will be alcohol-free for the time being until the couple can obtain the business’ license to sell alcoholic beverages, he said.

“We’ve had such an interest from the community in the restaurant, we decided to open it now — instead of waiting until we could sell margaritas,” he said.

Martinez said he would be dividing his time between the couple’s two restaurants, and his son, Rafael Martinez Jr., also would be working in the Pomona restaurant.

Maricela Martinez said the couple chose Pomona because there were not many dining options available in town.

“I’m very excited about having a new restaurant in town because it will provide a greater variety of menu items for our citizens,” Marie Seneca, Pomona mayor, said. “It also will increase the community’s sales tax revenue.”

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