The new owners of the restaurant property at 5 Macys Lane - where A.K. Diamonds and The Saltbox once operated - are hoping to reopen the establishment as "Casa Real," according to a license request that will be considered by the Select Board on Monday.
Salvador Aguilar and Mayra Escobar, the owners of the Salvadoreña Food & Market on Old South Road, purchased 5 Macys Lane for $3.2 million in March. They have applied for a new common victualler (food) license, an annual all-alcoholic beverages license, and a live entertainment license for the establishment. The Select Board will consider those applications during a special licensing meeting on Monday, Nov. 13th at 11 a.m. on Zoom.
“The applicant is requesting the same type and category of licenses that existed with the previous operator,” town licensing administrator Amy Baxter wrote to the Select Board as part of her review of the applications. “Renovations currently underway are mostly cosmetic with no significant alteration to the premises.”
Aguilar and Escobar told the Current earlier this year that they hope to open a sit-down Mexican/Salvadoran-style restaurant at the Macys Lane spot where customers can expect “tacos, sizzling fajitas, carne asada, and of course our delicious pupusas.”
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 had 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 told the Current in March.
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 the summer of 2022. The establishment was closed this past summer.
“After the purchase of the building there was a legal dispute on the rights of The Saltbox to continue to occupy the premises and open up the restaurant in 2023,” Baxter wrote to the Select Board. “There was an eviction notice and The Saltbox claimed a valid lease still existed. The Saltbox claimed not to have been noticed on the sale of the premises and ultimately received notice of the details from Licensing. The situation continued throughout the Spring. The Saltbox was being asked to pay their fees and provide a notarized Legal Right to Occupy the Premises so the required inspections could move forward. That was never received. The last communication with The Saltbox and their attorney was on May 17, 2023. We have not received a response since that time."