Three brothers are bringing their brand of Mexican cuisine to Decatur with the planned opening a restaurant on Sixth Avenue Southeast.
Casa Blanca is slated to open next year on a lot beside Burger King at Knight Street Southeast. Martinez Enterprises — the restaurant company owned by brothers Hector, Gabriel and Elias Martinez — purchased the property from the Terry family estate last month, Morgan County property records show.
A mortgage for $738,750 was taken out for the property with Bank Independent, probate records show.
Martinez Enterprises owns and operates two Casa Blanca restaurants in Huntsville, two in Madison and one in Athens. For the past 14 years, the chain has specialized in Mexican food, and each location features a full bar, according to Casa Blanca’s website.
The flurry of commercial and retail activity around the U.S. 31-Beltline Road intersection is what attracted Gabriel Martinez to the location in front of the new Bender’s Gym at Knight Street and Veterans Drive Southeast. Gabriel Martinez has been in Mexico this week visiting his mother and could not be reached for comment. His mother-in-law, Kelly Woodard, who was babysitting her three grandchildren while their parents were away, said her son-in-law had been waiting for the right time and location to open a restaurant in Decatur.
“A lot of people from Decatur eat at the restaurants in Athens, Huntsville and Madison,” she said. “Gabriel has been working on the deal for the last few months, and they finally closed on it this past month. He has said he thinks the restaurant will be a good fit for Decatur.”
The Terry family, whose portfolio includes several properties in Decatur, sold property nearby at Sixth Avenue and Brooks Street Southeast to Birmingham developer Blackwater Resources to build the Market Shoppes retail center. That center is slated for a spring opening.
The Terrys also own the southwest corner of U.S. 31 and Beltline, which city and business leaders hope can be developed in similar fashion as Market Shoppes and its predecessor, The Crossings of Decatur.
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