BRADENTON -- The owners of Habaneros Mexican Grill and Bar have brought their spicy flavors and authentic Mexican dishes to west Bradenton.
Restaurant manager, Ramiro Ramirez, said his family, who owns the restaurant, wanted to fill a void in the area.
"We found an opportunity to open a nice restaurant -- a family owned restaurant -- and we try to make more traditional food," Ramirez said.
He said his family owns "the only two other authentic" Mexican restaurants in Manatee County -- Restaurante Tequilas in Palmetto and Mr. Tequila in Bradenton.
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The Hawkins family visited Habaneros, 5120 Manatee Ave. W., Monday afternoon for the first time. Jeff Hawkins was there with his wife, Taylor Hawkins, who had the chimichanga lunch entree. Hawkins, who was having the sizzling fajita meal, said he and his family came to Acapulco, the former Mexican restaurant in that location; however he said he likes Habeneros new design. His wife said the prices will bring her back again.
"They are very inexpensive," she said. "The atmosphere is really nice. They switched it up in here a little bit."
Hawkins said the former Mexican restaurant was "a little bit older."
"All the furniture in here now is new," he said. "It is a little bit nicer."
Ramirez said he wanted a more authentic Mexican feel to the design of the restaurant.
"I used to see some of this style in Mexico so I decided to do this," said Ramirez, who's originally from Guanajuato, Mexico.
The dinning area has dark wood furniture, gold painted walls and large portraits of Mexican movie stars. They also have four flat screen televisions placed
in various locations.
"A lot of Mexican places like to put up a pinata, I wanted to do something a little different," Ramirez said.
The restaurant is open seven days a week. Sunday through Thursday they are open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
"We have happy hour every day from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.," Ramirez said.
Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.