A new Mexican restaurant named Se Cocina is preparing to take over the space after some interior remodeling. The newer and nicer El Tapatio is doing very well out on New Road.
The Chipotle restaurant is still under construction but getting closer. Probably by the end of June we will be able to crowd into this new fast-casual outlet. Chipolte started in Denver about 15 years ago. The management favors naturally raised meats and vegetables from smaller farms for use in their tacos and burritos.
The founder, Steve Ells, still runs the company. He started as a line cook at a famous upscale restaurant in San Francisco named Stars. There are now over 500 Chipolte Mexican Grill company-owned restaurants in the United States. The expansion was fueled by McDonald's - they once owned a major interest but sold it in 2005.
There is work going on at the former Smokey Bones. Last year owner Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster and Olive Garden) closed over 50 Smokeys and sold the rest to another company who must not have ever tasted real barbecue. Now the building is being renovated so that we can enjoy another much needed Mexican restaurant.
When it comes to Mexican food in Waco, the philosophy is, "If we build it they will come!"