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 the recipe on the waterfront in the city’s South End.
The Mexican-influenced Mexicue will open 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.
The new eatery overlooks Stamford Harbor 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 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 also set up outdoor dining in the warmer months.
The restaurant will start with about 45 employees, and it is hiring more.
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.”
Among other upcoming arrivals on the block, the owners of Patisserie Salzburg — which has two cafes in Westchester County, N.Y. —plans to open a third location, in the spring, at 2 Harbor Point Road.
A couple of doors down, the World of Beer chain closed several weeks ago its restaurant-bar at 18 Harbor Point Road.
“We’ve still got a number of restaurants that are doing great,” said Ted Ferrarone, chief operating officer of Building and Land Technology, the developer that owns the buildings on Harbor Point Road. “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.”