El Niagara Mexican Restaurant opens in Algonquin
A staple for McHenry County residents craving Mexican food is now branching out, hoping to attract more fans of its traditional food.
El Niagara Mexican Restaurant, which has been in Woodstock for many years, recently opened a second location in Algonquin along the Randall Road corridor.
Hoping to bring in people from throughout the Fox Valley to try the food that so many in the Woodstock area love, owner German Castaneda said he chose the busy area in front of the Algonquin Commons shopping center.
"It's a pretty good location. Very busy. I saw potential in this," Castaneda said.
The restaurant, which opened in mid-August at 2561 S. County Line Road, is visible from the Randall Road corridor. It fills a building that has been home to two other restaurants.
When first built, the spot was home to Mimi's Cafe, which opened in 2008, and closed in August 2013 because of slow business.
Over the years, the family has tried to open other El Niagara locations, but no others caught on like the popular Woodstock spot.
Castaneda and his brothers have been running the location at 118 First St. for many years. He had considered retiring, and wasn't sure if he was done in the restaurant business or ready for something new. He decided to take a chance on the new Algonquin spot, while his brothers continue to operate the Woodstock location.
He said fans of the other location will find the same food they love there in Algonquin.
"The whole menu is very popular there, and we will have that here," he said.
The new restaurant, however, he said, is bigger and will seat more people.
Many of his regulars from Woodstock who live closer to the Randall Road corridor were excited to hear about the second location, and realize they could get their food closer to home, he said.
Many of those regulars have been coming into the Algonquin spot now, he said. However, they've also been finding many new customers wanting to give the traditional Mexican food a try.
"People are seeing us and coming," he said.
El Niagara is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
For information, call the restaurant at (815) 527-6026.
Cheaper for teachers:
The Barnes and Noble store in Geneva Commons is giving teachers a break every weekend through Sept. 15.
On Saturdays and Sundays from now through the 15th, teachers will receive a 25 percent discount on most books, toys, music, movies and games. They also will get 10 percent off all purchases from the cafe.
Teachers from pre-K to 12th grade only need to show an educator's ID to recent the discount at the Geneva store, 102 Commons Drive.
For information, call (630) 262-8568.
• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from Batavia to Crystal Lake. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com or (847) 894-5036.