Expanding eateries fill vacant shops throughout Cartersville
by Matt Shinall
Aug 29, 2010 | 4116 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
El Pueblito #7 Assistant Manager Hugo Carranza talks with waitress Cindy Diaz at the beginning of her shift. El Pueblito is one of several restaurants to open recently in the Cartersville area. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
El Pueblito #7 Assistant Manager Hugo Carranza talks with waitress Cindy Diaz at the beginning of her shift. El Pueblito is one of several restaurants to open recently in the Cartersville area. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
August has seen a flurry of changes in the local restaurant scene with three recent openings expanding from successful, existing businesses. Unfortunately all of those locations were left vacant from previous dining destinations.

Early this month, downtown Cartersville saw the addition of El Pueblito in Legacy Plaza on East Main Street formerly home to Schroder's Deli. Open since Aug. 2, the restaurant relocated downtown from a location on Spur 20.

The seventh in a chain of family-owned Mexican restaurants, El Pueblito focuses on traditional family recipes. Owner of the Cartersville location Rolando Carranza attributes the family's success to good food and consistency. The chain was established in Calhoun 10 years ago by Carranza's uncles Manuel and Raul Naranjo.

"All the dishes that we make are basically stuff that either my uncle came up with or he got from Mexico. Now we have an even newer menu that we introduced like a month ago but we still have all the other stuff that we had on the old menu and more authentic dishes, too," Carranza said.

The reception thus far has gone well, he said, emphasizing that their downtown location has added to the initial success. "Downtown -- you can't beat it. It's like the old feeling that it has. The little shops like the bakery and the butcher shop and then the traffic. The exposure is here," Carranza said.

El Pueblito is hopeful to find more exposure than their former neighbor, Drink. The smoothie and coffee shop closed its doors on Aug. 19 after opening earlier this year. A sign on the door cites low sales for their closing.

El Pueblito #7 is located at 148 W. Main St., Suite 100. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. For more information, call 678-721-4000.

Another Mexican restaurant experiencing success opened a new location Wednesday. Tarasco's Mexican Restaurant opened on Cassville Road in June 2009 with their success inspiring another restaurant, Tarasco's Tacos and Wings, closer to town.

"It's gone very well at the original location. We have a lot of loyal people that come in. I've got some people that come in three to four times a week," said Vanessa Cabanas, owner.

Just over a year later, they have expanded into a second location with a renovation of the vacant Philly Connection at 1350 Joe Frank Harris Parkway. Success at the original location was attributed mostly to patrons living or working north of Cartersville in the Cassville area. Tarasco's Tacos and Wings is a smaller location with much of their traditional menu but focusing on tacos, wings and more authentic Mexican food looking to attract a crowd from within Cartersville.

"We have a little more authentic Mexican food at this one like some of the tacos and we have Mexican sandwiches that we don't offer at the other restaurant, and of course, one of our big focuses we want to focus on are the wings," Cabanas said. "We've pulled a few items from the other menu and then just tacos, wings and take out."

Plans are already in the works for an expansion when its neighbor H&R Block relocates in October to accommodate more seating and possibly a bar.

Tarasco's Tacos and Wings is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 770-334-3806.

The Steak House, the second restaurant from the lineage of its Rockmart born namesake, is the latest addition to the Cartersville dining scene. With a grand opening Thursday, they took the place of Hearth and Harvest in the West End Commons shopping center.

With nearly 20 years of experience in the restaurant business, Dave and Henrietta Edge began with Dave's in Taylorsville before opening The Steak House in 1998. They continue to operate the Rockmart restaurant as their son, Kevin, and his wife, Page Edge, step out on their own to establish the Cartersville restaurant.

"We have a lot of loyal customers from the Cartersville area that come to Rockmart and that's kind of where we saw the need," said Page Edge. "We want it to be family-oriented. ... We serve steaks, chicken [and] seafood. And It's family owned and operated."

Customer service is highly regarded and expected by the Edges; they emphasized the importance of good staff and their employee base being one of the reasons they made the decision to expand. With the blessing and help from Dave and Henrietta Edge, The Steak House in Cartersville was born.

"Since me and Page were ready to do something a little bit more they helped us get this one open. And we had such a strong customer loyalty in this area," Kevin Edge said, adding that the same welcoming atmosphere will be extended at the Cartersville location. "I always like to say 'make you feel like grandma's house.' We want you to feel perfectly at home when you're out here."

The Steak House is located at 650 Henderson Drive, suite 403, in Cartersville. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. with hopes to begin serving lunch in the near future. For more information, call 770-334-2623.

A slightly more unconventional eatery, Popcorn Haven offering more than 100 varieties of popcorn, is expected to open in late September or early October at 602 E. Main St. in Cartersville. This will be the second location spawning from the Calhoun original. For more information, call 706-659-4004 or visit www.popcornhaven.com.