November 28, 2021

Normaltown Agua Linda, located on Prince Ave, to reopen

After a year of closure for renovations, the popular Agua Linda restaurant on Prince Avenue in Normaltown will finally be open for business, but the family-run establishment plans to relax rather than come back full steam ahead.

General manager Nancy Barriga, sister of owners Juan and Manuel Robledo, told the Banner-Herald that the Mexican restaurant will only be open for dinner until the staff and kitchen are back in shape, but loyal customers will be impressed with the updated version. by Agua Linda.

“We would like to come back immediately and start serving everyone, but we’re just trying to get our wheels back on,” Juan said.

Without knocking down walls or building the existing structure, Agua Linda was able to double the size of the kitchen, add more toilet stalls, expand the bar from 4 to 12 stools, and increase the overall capacity of her rooftop dining area without losing a single seat on the ground floor or compromising the extra distance between the tables.

Patrons will notice the four new murals created by local artists, while longtime Athens patrons will be delighted to know that the new bar was built from wood that was originally part of the restaurant’s roof. .

The restaurant will reopen the week of November 15 with an exact date to be announced soon.

The grand reopening comes almost a year to the day after the 1376 Prince Ave site closed. to start a renovation project that had been underway since 2017. Initially slated to only take a few months, Agua Linda encountered issues with supplies. and structural problems that prompted them to open a food truck in the parking lot, mainly to keep their staff working.

“It wasn’t just about maintaining a presence in the community and serving food,” Barriga said. “We wanted to make sure our staff continued to stay busy and get paid. Our chef’s check amount never changed.”

Initially opened by Manuel Robledo, Sr. in Normaltown in 1999, the ownership and management functions of Agua Linda were transferred to Manuel II, Juan and Barriga when Robledo Sr. and his wife retired. The first order of the day was to bring the Athenian institution up to date. When operations resume, the owners plan to keep the food truck, which offers unique dishes not found in the restaurant, available for special events in the community.

“We continued to receive social media messages throughout our shutdown,” Juan said. “People were wondering where we were and when we would be back. Even clients who have since moved were eager to come and visit us. When they come to Athens, they come to Agua Linda.”


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