The former A.K. Diamonds and Salt Box restaurant location on Macys Lane was purchased Thursday for $3.2 million by the owners of the Salvadoreña Food & Market.
Salvador Aguilar and Mayra Escobar, who have owned and operated the market on Old South Road since 2015, told the Current on Thursday that they plan to open a sit-down Mexican/Salvadoran style restaurant at the Macys Lane spot.
While they haven’t yet settled on a name for the new restaurant, Aguilar and Escobar said customers can expect “tacos, sizzling fajitas, carne asada, and of course our delicious pupusas.” They hope to have the restaurant open by the summer.
The goal, Aguilar said, is “to bring a bit more of our culture to a sit-down restaurant. It’s different from a take-out to a sit-down place where you can enjoy some good food. We are very excited and looking forward to it. It’s a great spot, out of town, and with enough parking.”
After taking over the Salvadoreña Food & Market in 2015 after the previous owner left the island, Aguilar and Escobar have helped make it a thriving business that caters to Nantucket’s large Salvadoran population, carrying products and produce that might not be available at Stop & Shop while also serving up take-out food. They have been on the lookout for a potential location to open a sit-down restaurant for some time.
“This has been one of my lifetime dreams,” Aguilar said.
The couple is originally from El Salvador, but have lived on the island for two decades.
“We are very excited to have this opportunity and looking forward to this whole new adventure,” Escobar said.
The location had long been the home of Jeanne and Richard Diamond’s popular A.K. Diamonds restaurant. After its closure in 2015, Tris and Genevieve Gauvin opened the Salt Box Tavern & Table at the property in 2018, which operated seasonally through last summer.
Salt Box owner Genevieve Gauvin told the Current on Friday that she was not made aware that the building had been sold until she was informed about our report this morning. Gauvin said the Salt Box still has a year left on its current lease.
"My phone has been ringing all morning and I know nothing," Gauvin said. "Still, nobody has reached out to us. And we still have a year left on our lease. My mind is completely blown. It is what it is, I guess. I have absolutely no animosity at all to the new landlords/buyers. I'm thrilled that it will still be a restaurant. However, Richard (Diamond)'s agent has expressed to me this afternoon that they are aware of our lease so unless something changes, we are still planning on opening Memorial Day Weekend."
The town itself had been looking at the property as a possible acquisition for affordable housing purposes. But on Thursday, the transfer to the Monarca LLC, a limited liability company registered to Aguilar and Escobar, was completed and the sale was recorded in the Nantucket Registry of Deeds.