CALDWELL — Mexican restaurant Amano Restaurante held its grand opening Friday in downtown Caldwell near Indian Creek Plaza.

The restaurant, at 702 Main St., held its soft opening three weeks ago, according to owner Rebecca Alamilla.

Rebecca and her husband, Salvador Alamilla, have dreamed of opening their own restaurant for about eight years. Salvador Alamilla, who was working as an architect at the time, walked into their small apartment and told Rebecca he wanted to open a restaurant. From there, he worked from the ground up, starting as a dishwasher and climbing the culinary ladder.

The restaurant is the former home of coffee shop and restaurant Bird Stop, which closed last year. Rebecca Alamilla said they wanted their restaurant to feel similar to ones in Mexico, but they kept most of the original interior features the same.

“When we saw this building, it was just kind of a no-brainer,” she said.

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Amano’s menu is inspired by a variety of Mexican cuisines. Salvador Alamilla said the mole sauce they use is his mother’s recipe that he grew up eating. Amano also offers a full bar, wine, and 24 taps, with many options locally sourced.

Rebecca Alamilla said she was surprised by the support they received from the Caldwell community. Since their soft opening, she said they have been busy, and can see up to 250 customers in a day on the weekends. When they were doing research on where they wanted to locate the business, she said they found that restaurants were in high demand in downtown Caldwell.

“It really is a need in the community,” she said.

Amano is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Rebecca Alamilla said they are planning to offer brunch service as early as next week, which would open the restaurant at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Erin Bamer is the Nampa/Caldwell reporter. Contact her at 208-465-8193, or Follow on Twitter @ErinBamer.

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