The spice of life in Thomson is heating up with the opening of a new Mexican restaurant. Habaneros Mexican Grill will open next month on Washington Road next to Sunset Plaza.
"It's going to be good food," said restaurateur Miguel Chavez. "And it's going to be a large menu."
Mr. Chavez said he used to be the assistant manager of Monterey's restaurant in Evans, and so many customers used to come in from Thomson and ask him to open an establishment in Thomson.
Habaneros will be located in the old Gai-Lok Chinese Restaurant building, but even the old-timers won't recognize it. Mr. Chavez and property owner Wayne Williford together have invested $130,000 in remodeling the facility. Mr. Chavez said the inside of the building has new tile floor, walls, ceiling, furniture and kitchen.
"And the outside is looking pretty good, too," he said. "It's going to be a whole new place than it was before."
With many years of food-service experience, Mr. Chavez said his menu and pricing will be an improvement of what people are accustomed to in Thomson. He also has other goals in mind for his establishment.
"I like to see people when they come into the restaurant," he said. "And as long as they're happy, that's the main thing. That's why I like the restaurant business."
Habaneros will have "excellent service, really good food," and a "nice and clean" establishment.
"When people go to eat, they need to get away from all the stress they have," Mr. Chavez said. "I just want them to have a good time, have a good drink and have good food. That's my basic plan."
Mr. Chavez said he will hire five employees to work in the kitchen and five to work in the restaurant when it opens. Depending on the construction work and obtaining the liquor license, the restaurant should be open in early September. It will be open 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Friday.