MILLEDGEVILLE — Puebla’s Mexican Restaurant is in the midst of reopening the eatery next month at the former Margarita’s Mexican Bar & Grill at the Milledgeville Mall after closing it’s original location in downtown Milledgeville nearly three years ago.
According to Puebla’s restaurant founder and owner, Armando Puebla, the Margarita’s owner asked him to take over the lease and purchase restaurant equipment in June.
“The Margarita’s owner has four restaurants in Macon and he is 63 years-old; it was just too much and he said it’s time for him to retire. [The Margarita’s owner] used to own El Sombrero where I used to work, so I learned under him,” Puebla said. “He thought I was the right person to take over this business since I was living here for so long, and I’ve been running a restaurant. Kroger also asked me come there, but it was more feasible for me to take this location, and it also takes away one competition.”
Born and raised in Mexico, Puebla made his way to the U.S. states in 1983 before rooting his family in Milledgeville six years later to manage the original El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant, which formerly sat at the current Krystal’s location off North Columbia Street.
Puebla realized his passion for serving guests near-authentic food of his Mexican heritage, so ventured out on his own in 1997 to bring Puebla’s Mexican Restaurant to an 1,800 square foot space in downtown Milledgeville next to Buffington’s on West Hancock Street.
“I knew how to cook since I was in Mexico, and I know how to run the dining area and kitchen. We closed in downtown in 2011 when my lease was up ... and I’ve been looking for a place since then so I could come back to Milledgeville where I’ve been a resident for more than half of my life.”