An established Roanoke restaurateur plans to open a Mexican-Caribbean eatery this spring in Grandin Village, across the street from his current restaurant.
Rocky Byrd, who with his wife has owned and operatedRockfish Food and Wine on Grandin Road since 2005, will open the new restaurant, Nopales, where Surf ‘n Turf closed in December.
“Grandin Village needs some ethnic food,” Byrd said.
Byrd named the restaurant after a cactus that is found in Mexico and is used in cuisine there.
He lived in Mexico for several years and said he will bring to Roanoke authentic dishes from the Yucatan and Baja peninsulas.
“I know the cuisine, I like it, and I miss it,” he said.
The menu will include dishes such as ceviche and grilled and fried fish tacos.
If Byrd is granted an ABC license, he wants to stock a collection of rum and tequila and sell drinks that call for those liquors. He will also sell beer and wine.
Byrd has been looking for a space to open a Mexican restaurant for several years but was unable to find the right spot until Surf ‘n Turf closed; the former owners cited the economy and rising food prices as reasons for shuttering.
Byrd said he was sad to see the seafood restaurant close, but he plans to transform the interior so that “it won’t be recognizable as Surf ‘n Turf when you walk in here.”
He will, however, use the same kitchen equipment that Surf ‘n Turf left behind.
When the restaurant is open, Byrd plans to continue leading the wine program at Rockfish, but he will otherwise focus on Nopales.
Byrd plans to open Nopales in mid- to late April.
Also in the column, read about how retailers are preparing for Valentine’s Day, and an update on Sixteen West Marketplace.