Tonny Del Solar was having a small going away party in December for his friends when they decided to open a restaurant together instead.
“My dream was always to have my own business,” Del Solar said.
In April, Los Amigos Del Sur opened inside the Main Mall with a menu featuring dishes from southern Mexico, home to some of the owners. The business took over a vacant space formerly home to Emilio’s.
As the name implies, the restaurant serves seafood such as calamari, oysters, ceviche and Cazuela de Mariscos, a seafood stew.
“They are bringing another flavor from Oaxaca” to town, Zulema Arguelles said. Arguelles met the owners as a customer and encouraged them to start their own business.
Los Amigos also serves barbacoa beef slowly cooked in banana leaves, a traditional technique, and a variety of chicken dishes, such as chicken breast in mole sauce and breaded chicken breast served with avocado slices and pico de gallo. Enchiladas, fajitas, carne asada, chile rellenos and tacos are also on the menu.
Del Solar opened the business with his husband, Kevin Abeyta, and their friends, Consuelo Gomez and Elivia Cruz.
Gomez and Cruz were considering moving back to Mexico when the two couples decided to go into business together over dinner, Del Solar said.
The mojitos they made that night are now on the menu, he said.
The owners all have restaurant experience, and most of the staff of 10 previously worked at Tacos Nayarit, he said.
Del Solar started working in restaurants almost 11 years ago after he immigrated to the United States from Chiapas, Mexico, when he was 13. He started part time and worked three jobs for a while.
Francis Garcia, the former owner of Francisco’s Restaurante y Cantina, advised Del Solar and his business partners on how to start their business and helped them find a space.
Garcia suggested opening in the spring before the busy summer season, Del Solar said.
“It’s been good so far,” Del Solar said.
The restaurant is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.