Make us your home page

Everybody's Business: A Mexican restaurant and a tapas bar settle into Carrollwood


After two years of success in Winter Springs, a Mexican restaurant has opened a second location in Carrollwood.

Señor Tequila opened in May on N Dale Mabry Highway, beside the IHOP just south of Hudson Lane.

Owner Alvaro Mellado started in the restaurant industry as a server and worked his way through the business prior to opening his own.

"He worked extra hours, in every position from dishwasher to the kitchen," said Señor Tequila general manager Jose Acosta.

When Mellado met chef Manuel Gonzalez while working together in a kitchen, the two began collaborating on ideas for their own restaurant.

To test customers' reactions to their food, they sold carnitas (diced pork) and steak from a street cart, catering to the after-hours crowd in Winter Springs, north of Orlando.

By 2010, Mellado had saved enough to open his first Señor Tequila in Winter Springs Town Center, with chef Gonzalez at the helm. But the place was small and they were competing with a Tijuana Flats in the same shopping center. Within the year, they moved to a larger location where they doubled their customers and sales, Acosta said.

Acosta was a manager at a golf resort when he met Mellado through a mutual friend.

"I come from New Mexico, so I'm picky when it comes to Mexican food," Acosta said. "When I came to eat at his restaurant, I thought, 'This is pretty good.' "

Acosta signed on as general manager to help open the Tampa restaurant, which specializes in authentic Mexican food and signature margaritas.

"We serve over 100 different kinds of tequila," Acosta said.

Margaritas range from $6.99 to $25, including a 45-ounce and a 60-ounce margarita for sharing.

The Fire Mangorita is made with mango and has a chili powder rim and a splash of Tabasco. The True Blue organic margarita features Herradura Tequila and agave nectar, while the Skinny Margarita is made with fresh-squeezed fruit.

Dinner entrees range from $8.99 to $17.99 and include standard Mexican fare like enchiladas, burritos and fajitas as well as ribeye steak dishes and a Mexican paella with fish and shrimp. The restaurant's signature Guacamole Mexicano features fresh avocado, cilantro, onion, tomato and jalapenos.

The menu, developed by Mellado and Gonzalez, is the same at both locations.

"Our goal is to build more and stay consistent with the food and drinks," Acosta said.

Señor Tequila is at 11115 N Dale Mabry Highway. It's open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call (813) 280-9955, or visit

Elizabeth Miller can be reached at

Everybody's Business: A Mexican restaurant and a tapas bar settle into Carrollwood 07/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 5, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. FBI warns of spreading W-2 email theft scheme

    Personal Finance

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms — scams that can put staffers' Social Security numbers and other critical information in the hands of thieves.

    The IRS is warning businesses about a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees' W-2 forms.
[McClatchy DC/TNS file photo]
  2. Walmart expands grocery delivery service in Florida markets


    TAMPA — Walmart is formally launching its grocery delivery service in Tampa, the company announced Monday, as it expands its delivery test into Orlando and Dallas. Five locations around Tampa are offering delivery for online grocery orders.

    Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery to Tampa, the company announced Monday. | [Times file photo]
  3. Marina at Hudson Beach poised to become 24-unit condominium-hotel


    HUDSON — One of the mainstay businesses at Hudson Beach is poised for redevelopment into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.

    The owners of Skeleton Key Marina in Hudson have filed preliminary plans with Pasco County to redevelop the site into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.
  4. Have your say Tampa Bay on the region's future transit options

    Mass Transit

    TAMPA — It's time, yet again, for Tampa Bay residents to tell officials what kind of transit options they want for their region.

    The Cross-Bay Ferry docks at the Tampa Convention Center on its maiden voyage on Nov. 1, 2016. A regional premium transit study will determine whether a ferry, or other options such as express buses or light rail, would be a good addition to Tampa Bay. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  5. SOCom seeks civilian drone pilots to develop new technology through ThunderDrone


    TAMPA — For the last three years, Nicole Abbett has been using drones as part of her photography business, with clients like the city of Tampa and construction companies.

    Josh Newby, 31, Palm Harbor, of Tampa Drones fly's a drone in England Brothers park, Pinellas Park, 8/25/16. As drone popularity increases as a hobby and business, local governments are navigating a legal grey area- where, when, and how should drone flights be allowed?