Santa Fe Mexican Grill Prepares to Return to Wilmington

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Popular restaurant concept Santa Fe Mexican Grill is returning to Wilmington.

The eatery, which was originally a part of the Galleria Shops, will be part of the new mixed use site currently under construction on Pennsylvania Avenue. The restaurant plans to open in late May, said Javier Acuna, president of Hakuna Hospitality Group.

Acuna said the decision to bring Santa Fe back to Wilmington was a natural one. With six successful years at the previous location and customers asking when they would be coming back, it all made sense.

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“After doing a lot of thinking and research, we decided that the new building fits everything that we need in order to bring our successful brand back,” he explained

Hakuna Hospitality Group currently operates another Santa Fe Mexican Grill in Newark. The group also operates Del Pez Mexican Gastropub, Pachamama Rotisserie Chicken, Savanna Salad Bowls and Sandwiches, Mi Ranchito Mexican Food Market and La Taqueria Riverfront Market.

Bringing Santa Fe back to Wilmington took some time and research. Acuna said the new restaurant is giving them the opportunity to create the restaurant they’ve always wanted.

The previous location had poor visibility and parking issues. The new location will be right on the corner of the building with patio seating on Pennsylvania Avenue and will have easy parking. The new restaurant’s layout will be completely different with artistic elements like a ghost wall, Acuna said.

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Santa Fe’s menu will stay consistent with what customers have always loved with some new items.

“We will be looking into what were the favorites of that location in Wilmington and we will definitely want to incorporate those back into the menu,” he said.

With improving the brand, the menu will be inspired by the food of Mexico City and Oaxaca, both cities in Mexico. Acuna said they will hyper-focused on that area with creative and inventive items. The menu will also include margaritas and mezcal cocktails.

Acuna expects to see customers from the past returning and also some new faces. He thinks Santa Fe will offer something new to the dining option, just a few minutes from the Trolley Square area.

Plus, customers new and returning can expect a few surprises along the way.

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“We’re very positive and very confident that people we were seeing on a daily basis are going to come back. And we’re also very positive that the new vibe that the building is bringing to the area is going to create a new synergy,” he said.

Published to our Dining Insider blog Feb. 21, 2020

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