More food downtown

CJ Warson · Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Two new businesses are getting in on the food game in West Liberty. One is a foray into authentic Mexican food while the other hopes to be your coffee and smoothy hangout.

Puebla Mexican Restaurant opened its doors to the public on Thursday, July 20. The restaurant owner, Irma Esquivel is excited about it.

“It’s always been my dream,” Esquivel said.

In the past, she has worked in other restaurants as an employee, but now she finally got her chance to run her own restaurant.

Esquivel is currently renting the same building that Carnitas Nino Mexican Restaurant is located in downtown West Liberty on Third Street.

With other authentic Mexican restaurants in the town of West Liberty, they really don’t have a full proof plan as to how they’re going to compete, but they do have one advantage.

“The only thing we really have, is the buffet,” Esquivel said.

What she wants is people to come and try their food. “People like the quesadillas and burritos,” Esquivel said.

Over the past couple of weeks, the business has picked up from just having three customer groups to having a lot more business as word spreads.

Right down the road from the Mexican restaurant, at 305 N. Spencer St., is the new smoothie and coffee shop, “City Blends”.

“All our stuff is made with 100 percent real fruit,” Jesus Ocampo said. “Our protein mix that goes into it is 100 percent high quality. It is gluten free, dairy free and GMO free.”

Ocampo is from Muscatine and is the owner of the shop. City Blends has been open for a little over a month and recently celebrated it’s grand opening.

However, he doesn’t only sell smoothies at the shop. Ocampo reaches out beyond smoothies and sells coffee was well. He and one of his other associates came up with the coffee menu themselves.

“We also have ice-coffee,” Ocampo said. “I was talking to somebody from West Liberty and they were like, “yeah, we don’t have a coffee shop anymore.” I was like, I might have to explore into that!”

With all their smoothies containing 100 percent fruit and being high quality, they’re trying to make everything as healthy as they can. They want to keep the rich taste too that keeps people coming back for more.

“Our times will be changing as the school year starts, so that we can kind of accommodate for the kids going to the school,” said Ocampo. “They can drop by, get their smoothie, and drink on their way to school if they’re walking. We’re trying to, right now, let people know that we’re here.”

One of the ways that they are trying to do that is that they want to have an event there.

“We’re actually in the middle of planning kind of like a “Dungeons and Dragons Day”, so we can have the kids before they go off to school,” Ocampo said.

City Blends is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Wednesdays and Sundays, but these times won’t be the same come school time.

Meanwhile, Puebla Mexican Restaurant is open are Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. with the buffet only for lunch. On Saturday, they are open from 10-8:30 and Sunday 9-4.
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