Zunilda Ayala Escalante plans to open a Mexican restaurant in the former Bangkok Restaurant space at 78 Downeast Highway this summer. This is the first venture into the restaurant world for Escalante, who was born in Honduras and moved to Southwest Harbor last year. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY KATE COUGH

Mexican restaurant to open in former Bangkok Restaurant space

ELLSWORTH — A Mexican restaurant plans to open in the former Bangkok Restaurant building on the Downeast Highway.

Mi Sombrero Mexican Restaurant and Bar will offer burritos and tacos along with other traditional Mexican dishes, said owner Zunilda Ayala Escalante.

The menu will draw from cuisines around the Caribbean and Central America, but mainly focus on Mexican food, said Escalante, who was born in Honduras and moved to the United States in 2011.

There are still some i’s to dot and t’s to cross, she added, but Escalante said she plans on opening June 1, if all her permits and inspections come through. The focus will be on “fresh food,” said Escalante. It’s her first venture into the restaurant world, she said. “It’s exciting.”

Escalante moved to Maine full time in November. She worked in a lobster-processing plant for the summer of 2015 and fell in love with the area.

“It’s beautiful,’ said the Southwest Harbor resident. In a region with a tight workforce, Escalante has already tackled the challenge of staffing a new restaurant.

“I need a couple of weeks,” said Escalante, but added “I have staff. I have a chef from Puerto Rico, he’s a good chef,” who worked for years at a Mexican restaurant in Philadelphia.

Bangkok Restaurant was part of the Ellsworth food scene for nearly three decades before closing at the end of 2017.


Kate Cough

Kate Cough

Kate covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. She lives in Southwest Harbor and welcomes story tips and ideas. She can be reached at [email protected]
Kate Cough

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