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  • Bangor Daily News

    New Mexican restaurant to open in Bangor’s former Ground Round

    By Kathleen O'Brien,


    The owners of a popular Bangor-area Mexican eatery will open a new restaurant on Odlin Road in the former Ground Round.

    Eriberto “Eric” Guzman, owner of Las Palapas Mexican Restaurant, signed a lease agreement for the former Ground Round space last month. Guzman and his family are now renovating the space to become Roca Azul, a Mexican restaurant.

    The new restaurant will come a decade after Guzman opened the first Las Palapas location near the Bangor Mall in June 2014. A second location on Wilson Street in Brewer opened four years later.

    Roca Azul’s menu hasn’t been finalized, but Guzman said it will be similar to Las Palapas’ cuisine, including tacos, enchiladas, fajitas among other Mexican favorites. Roca Azul, however, will offer some new drinks and dishes, such as lobster tacos, Guzman said.

    “It’ll be something new and a little different,” Guzman said. “I hope people like it and it helps that area of Bangor since it’s a little bit forgotten.”

    It will likely take at least three more months to finish renovating the space, as Guzman is installing a new floor and booths, and the bar area and kitchen are being completely remodeled.
    The interior of the former Ground Round, which is being renovated to become a new Mexican restaurant called Roca Azul. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

    Once the renovation is complete, the restaurant will likely seat more than 200 people and need between 20 and 28 staff, similar to the Ground Round’s size.

    The plumbing issue that caused the Ground Round to close abruptly has already been addressed, Guzman said.

    “The whole main sewer got replaced from the bathrooms to the grease trap in the kitchen,” he said.
    Eriberto “Eric” Guzman, owner of Las Palapas Mexican Restaurant, is renovating the former Ground Round on Odlin Road to become a new Mexican restaurant called Roca Azul. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

    Bangor City Councilor Dan Tremble, who has owned the Ground Round since 2008, said in January that he planned to close the restaurant in February and was exploring leasing or selling the property.

    However, a sudden and major plumbing issue that would take weeks to fix forced Tremble to close the business in January, giving staff about 48 hours to find new jobs.

    The Ground Round operated in Bangor for 45 years.

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