For the latest restaurant in a retail center along Northwest Avenue, it’s very much about family.
In November Fernando Lopez opened El Amigo Mexican Restaurant at 3040 Northwest Ave., in the shopping center across from Yeager’s Sporting Goods. In getting it opened and operating, he’s had help from several family members, including his wife Guillermina Lopez, his brother Apuleyo and his sister-in-law, Natalia. The Lopez family spent more than three months remodeling the space, formerly home to Cinco De Mayo Restaurant, installing tiles, hand-made booths and repainting the interior areas, said Natalia Lopez.
“(The remodel) was more than we expected, but we’re excited about getting open,” Natalia Lopez said.
When Icicle Seafoods closed its Bellingham facility earlier this year, effectively laying Fernando Lopez off from that position, he decided to put the money he had saved into the restaurant. The restaurant’s name is also Fernando Lopez’s nickname.
Natalia has worked at a variety of Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood, including Gloria’s when it was in the retail center. When the space was Gloria’s, she said the neighborhood was very supportive, so when Fernando was looking for a place to open a restaurant, she recommended that center.
El Amigo represents the third restaurant opening in that retail center in the past year, the others being Stone Pot and Super Mario’s. Combined with longtime restaurants La Patisserie and Village Inn Pub & Eatery, the center is now dominated by restaurants.
“It’s good to see things are coming back,” Natalia Lopez said. “There are already a lot of people in this neighborhood that come into this restaurant regularly.”
Lunches are generally in the $6 to $8 range, while dinners are in the $7 to $15 range. It is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For further details, call 360-733-3116 or click this (link) .