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Clermont to get a new restaurant at familiar spot
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Outside Raul Urban's restaurant while he is preparing to open to the public on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The restaurant will offer buffet style Mexican and Southern cuisine. - photo by David Barnes

A Gainesville businessman is opening a Mexican restaurant at the same spot on Cleveland Highway where another Mexican eatery closed two months ago.

Raul Urban spent the day Friday cleaning, painting and going over a punchlist of items so he can get ready for an inspection at 380 Cleveland Highway, where El Rey Mexican Restaurant closed in September.

“I’m trying to make the best Mexican and country-style food in Clermont,” Urban said. “I’m trying my best to do a good business for this area.”

Urban said he’s hoping to get everything in order so he can open for business next week. He still has not settled on a name for the restaurant, which he said will feature an all-you-can eat buffet that offers traditional Mexican cuisine such as fajitas, carne asada, tacos, burritos and rice alongside country favorites including fried steak and chicken, vegetables and mashed potatoes.

The restaurateur paid $75 for a Clermont business license that will be finalized once inspections are completed, Clermont Assistant Clerk Amy Lomax told The Times on Friday.

The owner of Brandon’s Cafe on Candler Road, which also mixes American and Mexican cuisine, Urban said both his restaurants are family owned and operated. He said the new restaurant will open seven days and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“We’ll be open at 6 in the morning and close at 8,” Urban said.

Urban said he’s a friend of the owner who closed El Rey Mexican Restaurant, Martin Trujillo. Neighboring business owners who knew Trujillo said he got out because he could not compete with other restaurants that sell alcohol. Clermont does not allow alcohol sales.

However, Urban said he thinks he can get by without alcohol.

“I’m Christian,” he said. “I don’t sell alcohol at my restaurant in Gainesville either.”

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