Downtown Mexican restaurant opening bigger location up the street

Los Cabos, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Milford, is doing well enough that the owners are opening new larger quarters just up River Street. They plan to keep the original eatery open for the time being, but said they will close it at some point.

The Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) at its Sept. 6 meeting unanimously approved a site plan review allowing Yessica Trujillo and Daniel Wilhelm to open a restaurant at 9-11 River Street. Altama LLC owns the property. The restaurant is moving into space formerly occupied by Villa Gourmet, which closed Aug. 25, 2015.

Commenting on the plan, Planning and Zoning Board member Jim Quish said, “I wish you the best success.”

Trujillo told the board that the 1,900-square-foot restaurant will have 49 seats. This is considerably larger than the 320-square-foot current location, which has no indoor seating. For the time being, she said the smaller location will remain open.

“We do plan to leave the other tiny corner location at some point,” Trujillo said. “But for now both locations will be there.”

“With paint, we have turned this place into Mexico,” said Trujillo.

Los Cabos Snacks & Go opened in Milford last year, serving Mexican cuisine in downtown Milford, and after about six weeks the eatery was already getting positive reviews.

Patricia G. had this to say on Yelp: “It offers fresh tacos and empanadas for a great price. There is no indoor seating area so you can either carry-out or dine in their small sidewalk seating area. Everything is made to order and the empanadas were homemade.”

Danny Wilhelm, who owns Los Cabos with his wife, Yessica, said the couple looked around Milford with family for a place to open up the restaurant, and were pleased to find the downtown location at 35 River Street.

“We love Milford and we’re residents of Milford our whole lives, so what better place than downtown?” Wilhelm said.

The menu includes breakfast items like Huevos a la Mexican; wraps, including egg and cheese; breakfast burritos, plus lunch and dinnertime staples like tacos, tortas, fajitas, quesadillas, frozen drinks and more

City Planner David B. Sulkis said the new restaurant cannot sell alcohol because the space is too small. He said the board needed to find parking adequacy, which he said is a “fairly standard practice” in downtown Milford. Twenty-six parking spaces are required. The board granted that parking adequacy, meaning that there is sufficient parking for the restaurant in downtown Milford.

Wilhelm told the board they are thinking about allowing people to bring their own beer and wine.

The little storefront where Los Cabos is now and will remain temporarily as the new location gets underway has been home to several businesses over the years.

According to Priscilla Lynn, executive director of the Downtown Milford Business Association, it originally was a shoe repair shop, then it became an ice cream and hot dog venue, then Brats on a Bun, offering all types of bratwurst, and now Los Cabos.

“I believe Los Cabos works because it is owner-operated by a family; their fare is reasonably priced and deliciously/freshly prepared; and the owner/manager and his wife represent the younger generation of professionals/small business owners with the energy, enthusiasm and willpower to stick to their plan and growth goals,” Lynn said.

“Seeing the younger professional, small business owner invest in downtown, to me, represents that downtown is alive, growing and thriving,” she said, adding that downtown Milford is ‘emerging as a dining and entertainment mecca.’”

Not only will there be more space at the new location, the menu will expand too.

“The new location will be a lot more,” Trujillo said in an email. “We have so many ideas and we really have to thank the community for it. And slowly new and big things will be added to our menu. This is huge for us. As Milford residents this is monumental.”

(Editor Jill Dion contributed to this article.)