New Urban Mexican cuisine restaurant opens in Shreveport

New Mexican restaurant expected to thrive in Shreveport
Published: Mar. 15, 2018 at 3:10 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2018 at 10:44 AM CDT
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(Source: Nicolette Schleisman/KSLA News 12)
(Source: Nicolette Schleisman/KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A new Mexican restaurant opened up and it joins an expansive field of Mexican restaurants in Shreveport-Bossier City.

Habaneros sits at east 70th and Youree Drive in Shreveport, boasting Urban Mexican cuisine. This is the newest Mexican cuisine restaurant to come to the area.

"Louisiana, they love the creole, they love all the spices, and actually that we're more near Texas, they're more familiar with Mexican food and more authentic," said Omar Lugo, the founder of Habaneros.

Habaneros Shreveport is open Tuesday through Sunday and is closed on Mondays.

Lugo founded Habaneros in 2014 in the New Orleans area. He had been looking to expand north.

"I was on my way to visit my sister in Dallas, and I was just passing by here, and we stopped at a Mexican restaurant and we saw it was packed we saw it was a lot of people on a weekday," Lugo said.

Lugo says it was an easy decision to call Shreveport the newest home to his restaurant.

"I do think that the Mexican restaurant community, whether you're talking about taquerias or something more upscale like El Cabo Verde or Ki Mexico, I do think those restaurants contribute a valuable piece of our local tourism puzzle," said Chris Jay, the public relations manager for the Shreveport-Bossier convention and tourism bureau.

Lugo is joining a crowded field of restaurants that serve Mexican, or Tex-Mex food.

"The new Mexican restaurants that are opening up, there's one that just opened this week, are more kind of urban Mexico," Jay said. "A lot of new school Mexican eating and not at all what you would call Tex-Mex. The picture is changing as far as what Mexican food looks like in Shreveport-Bossier and Restaurant Week is helping, I think, people discover that."

"One of the greatest assets of Shreveport-Bossier is its diversity, and when you look at Mexican cuisine, it's not a monolith. There are Mexican states, Mexico is a federation of states, and all of those states have their own flavors, and many of them are represented here," said Jay.

Despite opening their doors on Monday — Lugo already is looking to the future.

"We have a chance to grow in this area. There's more room for another Habaneros or two," Lugo said.

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