Los Banos set to welcome another Mexican Restaurant

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comMay 31, 2014 

The Planning Commission on Wednesday recommended a liquor license for a restaurant that will occupy a building that’s sat vacant for three years.

Playa Azul, a Mexican restaurant, will open at 2160 E. Pacheco Blvd., Suite A. The location is the former home of Me-N-Ed’s Pizzeria and Pallavicino’s Pizzeria & Ristorante. It is near Food-4-Less and in the same shopping center as Panda Express.

Assistant Planner Stacy Elms said the restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and feature Mariachi music.

Planning Commissioner John Cates expressed concern about noise levels. He asked if city staff had received complaints from nearby homeowners when the building was occupied. Elms said she is not aware of any noise complaints in the past, and the city notified residents of plans for Playa Azul to provide them the opportunity to object.

Commission Chairman Tom Spada said he believes the business is a positive addition.

“I’m real happy to see another empty building get occupied and employ more more people. That is just another sign of good times in Los Banos,”

Los Banos has an abundance of Mexican restaurant. Playa Azul’s owner Leonard Oliva owns two El Grullense, Jal fast food restaurants in town and operates a taco truck. Cates said he is not worried about saturation.

“Eventually the free market will rise to the top,” Cates said. “Any type of similar cuisine, whoever gets the most business the others are going to have to improve somehow. The clientele is going to make the decision.”

The Planning Commission voted 6-0 to recommend a beer and wine license for Playa Azul. Commissioner Tom Mello was absent.

The City Council is expected to vote on the issue in the next month.

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