Less than six months after opening a second location of Mercado—the casual Mexican restaurant that quickly gained a following when it opened in Santa Monica in 2012—restaurateur Jesse Gomez and his partner and chef Jose Acevedo are sharing details about their next project: Maradentro.
It's taking the place of a former French-Vietnamese restaurant on Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock. "The space came to us and right away it sounded like a good opportunity," said Gomez, "My family's restaurant—El Arco Iris—is in Highland Park nearby, so it's a little like a homecoming for me." Gomez is familiar with the area and says he's looking forward to working in the neighborhood again.
The partners had been discussing a seafood-focused restaurant for months before they found the location. "We're calling it a Mexican seafood joint," Gomez explains, "but it's not strictly a seafood place. We're taking seafood and putting a Mexican slant on it, but we'll also be serving Jose's carnitas too, because they're great and we don't need to be pigeonholing ourselves into the definition of a mariscos restaurant or a New England-style clam shack."
Architect Ana Henton, who designed Mercado on West Third, will design the 1,800 square foot restaurant to have about 80 seats inside and out, including sidewalk seating. For now, the bar will serve only beer and wine though a liquor license application is in process.
Though Maradentro was originally to open this summer, it's more likely that it will open later this year.
Maradentro, 1948 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock.