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Meet Josh Perfit of El Camino Mexican Soul Food Mezcal & Tequila Bar in Fort Lauderdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Josh Perfit.

Colorful décor, vibrant menu and a curated selection of spirits will make you think you are in Mexico. El Camino Mezcal & Tequila Bar, a popular downtown Delray Beach, FL, Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, is slated to open its second location on Las Olas Boulevard in March 2018.

Offering the freshest organic and local ingredients whenever possible, El Camino offers an authentic Mexican experience not typically found north of the border in chain restaurants. The Mexican soul food menu, designed by Chef Anthony Pizzo, a co-founder of Modern Restaurant Group, Delray Beach, FL, features quesadillas, tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, salads and dessert. The restaurant makes its tortillas, sauces and “anything else possible from scratch.”

The bar menu and beverage program has been designed by Modern Restaurant co-founder Brian Albe and offers an authentic Mexican experience with hand-crafted margaritas, a curated selection of tequila, Mezcal (300 varieties of tequila and Mezcal) and a diverse selection of craft beers.

The 6,000-square-foot venue — located at 817 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale is nearly three times the size of the Delray space — will offer an expanded Mezcal and tequila selection, as well as weekend brunch service — something the Delray Beach location presently does not offer. The restaurant will seat 200 guests in its main dining room with additional seating for 50 outdoors. There is also an indoor/outdoor bar for 60 guests. Parking is available directly behind the restaurant, with access via a breezeway to the venue and outdoor bar, which faces Las Olas. Named for a third year in a row to Opentable’s “Top 100 Hottest Spots in America” list, El Camino’s Delray Beach location is well-known for its popular late-night — midnight to 2 am — happy hour, which offers $2 tacos, $5 margaritas and 50 percent off all tequilas and Mezcal. The eatery also draws huge crowds for Taco Tuesday, when guests can order any of the menu’s specialty tacos for $2. The Fort Lauderdale location will offer the same, as well as brunch with unlimited mimosa, craft beer and sangria options available.

“With the ongoing development of the Las Olas area, we thought El Camino is a perfect fit. We look forward to our guests experiencing El Camino Las Olas. Our Delray Beach location has become a favorite spot for locals and tourists, and we hope the same will be of our new location,” said Brandon Belluscio, co-founder of Modern Restaurant Group, which also owns Cut 432 and Park Tavern in Delray Beach.

Modern Restaurant is investing more than $3 million in the new space, restoring the 1950s building back to its original warehouse style, with more than 20-foot ceilings, skylights, custom lighting, Chicago brick and the original terrazzo flooring. The front and west sides of the building have been opened up and will house 12-foot glass garage doors, creating an open and vibrant atmosphere. Guests can watch chefs prepare their dishes in the open kitchen. Mimicking the Delray location, seating will feature bright lime green leather tufted booths.

Like the Delray Beach location, the Fort Lauderdale venue will feature a mural by neo-figurative artist Ruben Ubiera. Known for his strong use of the line, graffiti-inspired technique/esthetic, urban murals, mixed-media pieces and installations, Ubiera’s paints and draws in a style considered as postgraffism, but he prefers to call it “urban-pop,” since he has lived most of his life in urban, populated areas and most of his inspiration is derived from the inter activity between man and his urban environment.

Part of the Modern Restaurant Group (MRG) in Delray Beach, FL, El Camino Mezcal & Tequila Bar offers an authentic Mexican experience not typically found north of the border in chain restaurants. The restaurant’s guiding principle is to exceed their guest’s expectations in all areas — food, beverage and ambiance — and create an experience that will arouse and excite the senses. As a team, the staff is inspired by the culture and the heritage of Mexico. Presently, there are two locations — Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale, FL. MRG has plans to further expand the brand. About Modern Restaurant Group For more than a decade, Brian Albe, Brandon Belluscio and Chef Anthony Pizzo have been creating good times for a legion of fans. Having met early in their careers at the iconic Pranzo restaurant in Mizner Park in Boca Raton, FL, they soon realized they shared a similar vision for creating the perfect dining experience. Young, energetic and looking to redefine the standards, they set forth with their first joint venture, Vertical 114. In 2008, MRG opened Cut 432 in Delray Beach, providing South Florida with the finest steakhouse experience highlighted by outstanding tableside service, an extensive wine program and unique culinary innovations. In 2011, MRG opened Park Tavern and in 2014, El Camino Mezcal & Tequila Bar, both in Delray Beach, FL. The hospitality group opened its second El Camino location in March 2018 on famed Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As with most restaurants staffing is always a challenge. We want employees to share our vision & passion about food & beverage & it’s sometimes difficult finding top notch restaurant industry employees. Space has been a major obstacle at Camino Delray & keeping up with production & adjusting to the massive volume we do at Camino Las Olas has been a challenge.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with El Camino Mexican Soul Food Mezcal & Tequila Bar – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I started with Modern Restaurant Group at Park Tavern December 2011. I was part of the opening staff at Park Tavern & opened El Camino Delray as the General Manager. I ran El Camino Delray for 4 years until I started on the project for El Camino Las Olas. I started the hiring process in late November & interviewing, hiring, creating training & ordering everything for the restaurant. We opened March 25, 2018 & we have been very busy from day 1. We look forward to growing more in the future.

I am proud that we go above & beyond guest’s expectations with our product & service. We have a craft cocktail program & have a scratch kitchen concept for Mexican food. We do not use a microwave & almost everything is made daily in house. This is also what sets us apart from others. Many other busy restaurants serve prepared foods from their distributors or use premade mixes or juices from beverage or produce companies where we use fresh produce to juice daily or make fresh salsas.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We look forward to growing the El Camino concept in the future. We currently have CUT432, Park Tavern, El Camino Delray and Ft Lauderdale & will be opening more El Camino restaurants in the years to come.

Pricing:

  • Margarita Monday $3 Classic Margaritas
  • Taco Tuesday $2 Tacos
  • Wednesday ITB 50% off for Restaurant & Bar Employees

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Photos by PJ Saltzman

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