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Monterrey Mexican Restaurant reopens at new location

SALISBURY — After being closed for nearly two months, Monterrey Mexican Restaurant is once again open for business.

And Candy Torres, the wife of restaurant co-owner Jorge Diaz, said their team could not be happier to be back.

“We are so happy. Everybody that comes by here, the old customers, the customers that we had for years. We treat them like family. We are a family,” Torres said.

Torres said that in the months since the restaurant’s old location on Statesville Boulevard closed, she and some restaurant staff members have been hard at work trying to get the new location up and running.

Torres said the new location — 119 N. Link Ave, where Castaways Seafood Bar and Grill used to be — posed some challenges.

“I’ve never been here when they were working here, Castaways, but when I come inside the first day, I said, ‘What do you do with the carpet?’” she said.

Torres said she, Diaz and three kitchen workers did all the renovation work themselves.

“Everything you see, we did,” Torres said as she gestured around the 8,000-square-foot space. “We got here, sometimes, at 6 a.m. and went until past around 2 or 3 a.m., the middle of the night. The whole day here. It’s nothing easy, but it’s worth it.”

Torres said that more than anything, seeing customers in the new space is what makes the months of labor worthwhile.

“I still have bruises, see? Everywhere,” Torres said, pointing at bruises she got during the construction work. “We (had) to find a place to put all of our customers because, I say again, they are family for us. We know people. … I know babies from the stomach, and now they are getting engaged. So yeah, we could not disappear like that, you know?”

Torres and her team had to leave the old location — where the restaurant was located for more than 20 years — because a Citi Trends clothing store needed 12,000 square feet of retail space, including the restaurant’s 3,500 square feet. Since Monterrey had a month-to-month lease with the shopping center, the restaurant was given 30 days to find another location.

“You can see the difference, you can feel the difference. Because in (the old) restaurant, everything was close. Even if you want to refill water or something, it’s close. Your customers, they don’t have to wait for anything,” she said. “Now we are concerned about everything, time and everything, because we are to go from this table to the kitchen to get the water. So it is more difficult, but definitely we can do it.”

Torres said the restaurant has hired three new waiters, three new busboys and three new kitchen staffers to accommodate the larger space.

She said that more than anything, the restaurant’s customers — both old and new — have made the whole process worth the effort.

“You can feel how much love they have for us. I know we have really, really loyal customers. But I never thought how big it is,” Torres said. “When I see the whole restaurant back and the bar, it’s almost full, too. And everybody’s so happy, and I love it.”

Monterrey’s is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

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