Romero recently purchased Rooks East Side Saloon with big plans for a restaurant and lounge that serves up American and authentic New Mexican cuisine.
A large grand re-opening is scheduled for May 5, just in time for Cinco de Mayo. Until then, Romero will be busy preparing the eatery at 282 Fourth St. for its grand debut, from the food all the way to the décor.
Along with an improved and upgraded menu, Rooks’ American favorites will continue to be offered, including their famous fish sandwich. Also, some great American dishes will be added, including Chicken Marsala, specialty sandwiches, and Grilled pork chops, to name a few.
A variety of homemade New Mexican dishes, some of them secret family recipes, are being added to the menu, including authentic stuffed sopapillas, frijoles borrachos (drunken beans), your favorite Burritos, Tacos, Taquitos, and Enchilada dishes, plus her favorite recipe, Carne Adovada Burritos, and much more.
Romero said the new eatery will honor Rooks' historical legacy in Ambridge by keeping the name that everyone knows and loves.
“I remember being here 30-plus years ago when Jim Rooker first opened this,” said Marty, Romero’s husband, who grew up in Economy.
Romero, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, came up with the name “cantina” which means “festive lounge,” and 505, the area code for Albuquerque. She was inspired to open a restaurant with New Mexican flair because there is a lack of this cuisine in the area.
Romero, who has previous restaurant experience, has also thoughtfully planned a décor to give a fresh, new ambiance to the new Rooks Cantina 505.
As Rooks has been known for its sports memorabilia, “we will be keeping the sports theme throughout the bar area,” she said.
The dining area will be redecorated with a beautiful, warm and inviting décor, including new sconces and other decorative accents. Ceiling fans will be replaced and dropped down, and a waitress station will be added to the dining room.
The dining room will also have a separate, open entrance available in addition to the lounge area, which allows patrons to have a preference to their dining experience.
Along with complete access to Rooks’ beautiful iconic fully stocked bar, the new Rooks Cantina 505 will add a variety of specialty drinks, including frozen Margaritas, daiquiris, and many others.
Romero said, “ My staff and I look forward to bringing back a new and exciting venue to the Ambridge, and surrounding areas. We are confident the new Rooks Cantina 505 will help re-establish Ambridge as a ‘go to’ destination.”
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