The former home to Smith & Jones on Las Olas won't sit empty long. A third location of Rocco's Tacos & Tequila Bar will open in the spot this fall.
Rocco Mangel, who co-owns the two other Rocco's Tacos with the Big Time Restaurant Group, said he has been negotiating the deal for the past four or five months. He cut the deal with Carl Karmin, who owns the building and co-owned Smith & Jones, just today, Mangel said.
"We had been looking at a lot of locations, but this was the one," Mangel said. "We weren't
going to go in just anywhere. It had to look like a Rocco's, and this
Rocco's, if you haven't been, is a Mexican joint
that overflows with drinkers at its locations on Clematis Street in West
Palm Beach and in Boca Raton's Town Center.
With Rocco's, that
once-sleepy end of Las Olas might get a bit livelier. SoLita's across
the street does a crowded happy hour, and Rocco's newest location,
according to a news release, promises a "full sensory Mexican dining
experience complete with live mariachi bands and free tequila pourings."
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Mangel hopes to have the new Rocco's open before the Fort Lauderdale boat show October 15. But he'll need to go to Mexico first to buy furniture and knows that it may be nearer to mid-November.
Mangel is also considering turning the parking lot just west of the building into an outdoor seating area -- a rarity on Las Olas.
"We're going to be open seven days and seven nights a week," Mangel said.
"We're never going to close."