Restaurant to bring 15+ jobs

Published 12:03 am Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Taco Del Mar storefront, which recently opened in Louisiana. | Courtesy photo

A new restaurant franchise will debut in Andalusia in September, bringing with it the need for an estimated 20 new employees.

Dharmesh Patel confirmed Friday he has purchased the former Left Field Grill location for the site of his newest business venture – a Taco Del Mar franchise and a new home for the Subway restaurant currently located next to Little Caesar’s.

If the Taco Del Mar sounds unfamiliar, that’s because the new franchise line was purchased last year by the Subway corporation and is now slowly making its debut across the Southeast.

According to the company’s website, the Taco Del Mar menu “offers a fast, fun and delicious alternative to traditional Mexican food” that features “large, hand-rolled Mondo Burritos and rippin’ fish tacos made to order just the way you want them.”

Patel said the franchise is a perfect complement to the Subway restaurant and the former Left Field Grill site is large enough to accommodate both.

“The lease is up on the Subway building in July, so I began looking for something bigger, because there is not enough sitting room there now,” Patel said. “The Subway people told me about Taco Del Mar, and I thought, ‘There is no Taco Bell in Andalusia, so it should really go. Now, it can be fast and you don’t have to go to a regular Mexican restaurant.”

Patel said the building will accommodate the restaurant combination. Patel purchased the building in November, and renovations inside will begin next week, he said.

“I expect an open date of September,” he said. “The taco place will operate with the same open concept as Subway. It will be two ordering systems and one sit down place. You’ll come up to the line and watch as your order is made. Not like Taco Bell where it was made in the back. This is right in front of you – choose your meat and vegetables for tacos, quesadillas and burritos. Something new is their main item – a fish taco.”

Patel said he expects to hire an additional 15 to 20 employees to operate the Taco Del Mar. While he hasn’t officially set the new business’ hours, Patel said he expects to open around 10 a.m. and close at either 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. Subway’s hours will remain the same, opening at 7 a.m. for breakfast.

And don’t think you’ll have do without Subway between now and the new opening.

Patel said Subway will be closed for no more than three to four days before new restaurant opens to allow for equipment moving.