A New Restaurant — With A Twist

Habanero's Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar will open on Moody Street this month.

Can another Mexican restaurant make a go of it in Waltham?

After all, the city already has four of them: , and . At least one entrepreneur thinks a new place can be successful.

"I'm excited to be part of the Waltham business community. It's a diverse community and a great location," said Terry Knight, the owner of Habanero's Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, which is scheduled to open later this month at 484 Moody St. on the site of the It's planning to hire 15 - 20 employees.

A graduate of Northeastern University, Knight worked in sales and marketing for two Fortune 500 companies and now runs a family retail heating oil business in Melrose.

"I wanted to do something that was fun, and different, but still focused on service," Knight said. "Most people who come into a restaurant are happy and want to have a good time."

But how does Knight plan to woo customers away from other nearby Mexican and Central American restaurants?

"We're focusing on fresh-made food. Everything will be made from scratch: the sauces, red and green, the guacamole, which will be 100 percent avocado. We've also made a big investment in a liquor license, so we can have hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind cocktails, made with fresh juices and infusions."

To carve out its own niche, Habanero's will also feature a bar that specializes not only in hand-crafted margaritas, but also in 60 different kinds of tequila -- that's not 60 different drinks with tequila in them, but 60 different brands of tequila.

"All tequila is made from the blue agave plant, but depending on where the plants are grown, and how they're processed, they have distinct tastes," Knight said.

The menu will be full of classic Mexican dishes – enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas, burritos, chimichanga, tamales. And there's a mini-menu for kids under 12, with four different entrees with chips and a drink, for $5.95. There will also be twists on some dishes, such as la langosta macarrones con queso (lobster sautéed in butter and shallots, tossed with creamy queso sauce and cork screw pasta, then baked with seasoned bread crumbs and cheddar cheese).

Habanero's will seat 54 in the restaurant and bar, with the usual assortment of tables, booths, and high-top tables. And of course it will have flat-screen televisions.




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