6.28.2010

Summer season will be last for El Mariachi

After five years of operation on Route 9, the El Mariachi restaurant will close at the end of the track season because of lack of business, owners say. 
 The location at 2955 Route 9, which is equidistant from both Saratoga Springs and Ballston Spa near Northway Exit 13, is one of three Mexican eateries run by Albany-based restaurateurs Patty Bermejo-Bhola and Freddy Bhola. 
 “That location has been very challenging,” said Bermejo-Bhola, who’s been in the business with her husband for 15 years. “We’re not in the town, and I think once people are in the town they stay in the town.”
The couple opened the restaurant in July 2005 after customers asked for an El Mariachi location “up north,” she said.
But they decided in January not to renew their lease and will close their doors once this summer season is through. Some employees will transfer to Albany but others are looking for new jobs.
“Traffic is just not enough there,” Bermejo-Bhola said. “It’s great now in the summer months, but the winter months are very quiet.”
Property owner Sam Leveni had managed the lease nearly all five years until the property was turned over to Adirondack Trust in 2010, Bermejo-Bhola said.
“After the economy went down, and we learned that he had lost the property at the beginning of the year, and that was another part of the decision,” she said.
Two other El Mariachi restaurants are located at 289 Hamilton St. and 144 Washington Ave. in downtown Albany, where business is steady, Bermejo-Bhola added.
The couple is also planning to open a new tapas and tequila bar in Albany called Blue Agave.

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