3 Amigos opens in York County, bringing Mexican food to Nelson’s Grant

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Omar Perez, General Manager of the Nelson's Grant 3 Amigos. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

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A new restaurant has opened in Yorktown and fans of Mexican food are finding a reason to celebrate.

3 Amigos Mexican Restaurant opened Monday in Nelson’s Grant on Route 17. The restaurant is the sixth 3 Amigos restaurant in Hampton Roads, with other locations in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Yorktown on Kiln Creek Parkway, and in Elizabeth City, NC.

General Manager Omar Perez said he is excited about the new location. Nelson’s Grant is a mixed-use community with town homes, carriage homes and condominiums within walking distance of 3 Amigos.

“Being on 17, it should be a good idea. We shouldn’t be regretting the location,” said Perez.  “It’s just a matter or word getting around…I think it’s a hopping corner to be.”

Perez said he opted for a soft opening for the new 3 Amigos, rather than a grand opening, adding he wanted to open the restaurant sooner rather than later and then iron out details during the soft opening phase.

Right now, Perez said he and the restaurant's staff are "just finishing small details. The small details always take the longest.”

For example, the restaurant did not receive its liquor license until Tuesday night, and a television set by the bar was being connected Wednesday afternoon.

One detail Perez said he was sure to include in time for Monday’s opening was a fish tank at the entrance of the restaurant, which he said was popular among his guests, especially children.

During its first week of operation, Perez said business at the new location “is about the same as the one I got up in Kiln Creek so far. January is always a slow month for everybody. Everybody is paying credit card bills. It should be picking up in the next couple weeks.”

Perez said he joined the restaurant industry as a 10-year-old, working for his father Ramon Perez on weekends. Ramon Perez owns all of the 3 Amigos restaurants, and his son is responsible for managing three of them.  

Perez said his restaurant has been successful due to its fresh ingredients, welcoming staff and a menu familiar to the small chain’s patrons. All but one of the servers at the new location had previously worked at other 3 Amigos locations.

York County resident Suzanne Williams ate lunch at the new 3 Amigos for the first time Friday afternoon, which is "right up the block" from her home. She said she visited the 3 Amigos on Kiln Creek multiple times and is happy to have a location closer to her home.

“I’m excited about it," Williams said.  "It’s nice to have something so close.”

Williams recommended the shrimp stuffed jalapenos and lunch margarita and hopes to try the Molcajete- which features grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, pork chop, chorizo, cactus, onions with two stuffed peppers- on her next visit.

“I’ve been waiting for it to open. I might’ve called a few times and asked, ‘when does it open?’” Williams laughed.