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New restaurant slated for Tequila's Sunset location in Richmond Hill

The once popular Richmond Hill Mexican restaurant Tequila’s Sunset has closed and its location will soon feature a different Mexican restaurant.

Tequila’s, which seemed to consistently draw a crowd during peak lunch and dinner hours, closed its doors about a month ago. The owners could not be reached for comment.

A sign posted on the door claimed ownership fell behind on paying taxes. According to local law, a business can not purchase alcohol to be sold if sales taxes are not current.

This dispels the rumor floating around that the health department closed down Tequila’s. They did, however, have some problems in that area.

Bryan County Health Inspector Gina Allen said the restaurant did come close to being closed due to neglecting health code ordinances. She said numerous serious violations are on record against Tequila’s, including leaving meat unrefrigerated overnight.

"We stopped going to Tequila’s after my husband and I connected getting sick to dining there," Richmond Hill resident Melissa Stephens said. "Before that, though, we went there all the time. The prices were great, which we look for because we have three kids."

Bob Massey, who owns the shopping plaza, said he is excited that a reputable Mexican chain is coming in to replace Tequila’s.
He said the new restaurant, La Nopalera, looks like it will offer all the positive aspects that Tequila’s had without the problems.

La Nopalera owner Javier Valencia said the Richmond Hill location will be the 13th La Nopalera that he and his family have opened. He said the restaurant will look very different than Tequila’s and will have a more upscale and "more festive, relaxed atmosphere."

The facility has just been gutted and is undergoing remodeling.

His family opened the first La Nopalera in 1990 in Orange Park, Fla., and all of his restaurants are located in the Southeast.

He anticipates the one here to open in about two weeks.

Valencia said his restaurant will feature lunch specials and a happy hour. He said his meal price points will range from $3.75 to $13.99.

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