La PazLa Paz employees Charlie Nearing and Bobby Richards with Service Manager Bear Blackmon and General Manager Eric Murphy.
Following a successful soft opening the first week of October, the new La Paz location on Galleria Circle has seen a long string of Hoover customers exit the Mexican eatery wearing smiles. And its staff expects to see many more.
“The traffic has just been great,” General Manager Eric Murphy said. “We’ve been full both lunch and dinner. Hoover has really come out and supported us.”
Nestled between National Tire and Battery and J. Alexander’s restaurant on Galleria Circle, La Paz serves up a festive atmosphere and flavorful dishes many in the area will find familiar. The restaurant is a duplication of La Paz in Mountain Brook’s Crestline Village, which has been plating up customer favorites like creamy queso, beef nachos and grilled shrimp quesadillas for more than two decades.
The first La Paz opened in Atlanta in 1979 and enjoyed a huge response, so the owners spread the Mexican vibe and great food to Nashville, Destin, Asheville, Charlotte, Knoxville and, eventually, Birmingham in 1991.
Some of those locations have since closed, but in 2008, resident and Golden Rule Bar-B-Q executive vice president Todd Becker formed The Red Mountain Restaurant Group LLC as a way to purchase the local La Paz and make sure it remained open. Becker formed a five-man team with Golden Rule Chief Executive Charles Matsos, businessman Clete Walker, Bobby Dillon of Synovus Securities and real estate developer Cannon Prickett. Matsos was a partner in the Michael’s Steak and Seafood formerly housed in the La Paz building.
“There’s not a lot of Mexican out there, and none on that circle,” Matsos said of Hoover and the access road around the mall.
La Paz in Hoover has a menu identical to its sibling in Mountain Brook, and Murphy said early customer favorites are: Fish Tacos, fried or grilled; Carnitas Especial; and the Arizona Quesadilla. The menu also features traditional tacos, fajitas, chips and salsa, plus margaritas and other drinks. Other highlights include live music every Friday or Saturday night and extensive outdoor seating. Any La Paz menu item can also be ordered to-go, and the restaurant is available for catering.
“It’s a nice, fun environment with fantastic food and a great staff,” La Paz employee Bobby Richards said.
Christiana Roussel lives in Birmingham and enjoys all things food-related. Follow her culinary musings on line at ChristianasKitchen.com, Facebook (Christiana’s Kitchen), Twitter or Instagram (Christiana40).