New businesses open in Wauconda shopping center
Two new culinary businesses are bringing customers -- and cash -- to a Wauconda shopping center.
A Mexican restaurant called El Manantial and a coffee shop called the Sugar Block Cafe have opened in the Wauconda Plaza, which is on Route 176 east of Rand Road.
They join Liberty Street Liquors, Cosmos Sports Bar and Ace Hardware among the businesses in the plaza.
Maria Weisbruch, executive director of the Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce, called the business additions "super exciting."
"The more the merrier," Weisbruch said.
Located at 461 W. Liberty St., El Manantial opened in February after an extensive renovation of the space. It held a grand opening celebration this week.
The restaurant is a family-owned operation specializing in traditional dishes made with fresh ingredients. Traditional menu items include carne asada, fajitas, flautas and burritos.
"We make everything from scratch," manager Ismael Sera said. "We make our own beans and rice and sauces and everything."
Wauconda Trustee Tim Howe has become a fan.
"We've actually been there several times already and love it. (It's) very authentic and reasonably priced."
The Sugar Block Cafe is a more recent addition, opening last week at 451 W. Liberty St. Co-owner Eduardo Collazo also is invested in Eduardo's Catering of Wauconda and the Westridge Banquet hall and Sofia's Place, both in neighboring Island Lake.
Sugar Block serves, coffee, espresso, various iced and hot teas, sandwiches and salads. Its dessert options include doughnuts made on site, cupcakes, fudge and cookies.
Neither Collazo nor partner Alisha Rounds could be reached for comment.