A Mexican restaurant is moving into the old Dawg’s Draft House in Atwater

Photo via Uncle Tito's Mexican Grill

Heads up, Mexican food aficionados: Uncle Tito’s Mexican Grill is coming to Atwater.

Owner Fernando Leon, who has two other locations in Springfield and Mogadore, said opening a third restaurant at 1312 State Route 183 was an opportunity “too good to pass on.”

Near the intersection of state Routes 183 and 224, the restaurant is sure to attract locals and vacationers alike.

“We like that area,” he said. “We know a lot of people go to Berlin Lake, so we thought that location would be perfect for us. For us it was a no brainer.”

Leon anticipates opening in the beginning to middle of next month. Most menu offerings will be “south of the border,” but there will also be hamburgers and chicken sandwiches for patrons who prefer American food, he said. Everything is made fresh.

He gave a special shout out to Lita and Dale Wiley, who own the building, which formerly housed their restaurant, Dawg’s Draft House. Leon said they have been instrumental in shepherding him through the transition process, which includes him acquiring the building. 

“They have made it possible. They have been so easy to work with. Great people, honestly amazing people. When it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be,” Leon said.

All Uncle Tito’s restaurants strive for an “at-home” atmosphere, where patrons feel welcome to linger over drinks and meals. Knowledgeable servers become familiar with their regulars’ favorites and work with new patrons to find menu items they would like, Leon said.

Uncle Tito’s includes a full drinks menu, including “a lot of tequila. We like to educate people on tequila and they end up really enjoying it,” he said.

Come warmer weather, seating will extend to the restaurant’s patio. Leon envisions live music of all genres.

Besides quality and consistency, Leon said he focuses on building good relationships with his customers and community. That includes hosting fundraisers or helping in other ways community members and patrons might suggest.

“We’re just really excited,” Leon said. “We’re really excited to be part of the community, to help them with whatever we can.”

Uncle Tito’s will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

“We wish him all the best, and we’ll work with him to make the business a success. We’re all for investment in the township,” Township Trustee John Kovacich said.To get a sneak peek at what the Atwater location might offer, here’s the Uncle Tito’s Mexican Grill Facebook page.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.