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The Buzz: Sergio's out, Mojito's in

Jun. 26, 2013
 
A mojito, pronounced like mo-HE-toe, is a Cuban cocktail made with rum, sugar, lime and mint.
A mojito, pronounced like mo-HE-toe, is a Cuban cocktail made with rum, sugar, lime and mint. / AP

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One of Appleton’s oldest Mexican restaurants, Sergio’s, will close July 15.

“I’m going into retirement and I’ve already sold to Sangria’s,” said owner George Wall, 71.

After refurbishment, the restaurant space at 2639 S. Oneida St. will reopen as “Mojito’s Mexican Grill & Bar by Sangria’s,” a new restaurant concept from seasoned restaurant owners Shirley Gregory and Luis Vazquez, owners of the two Sangria’s restaurants in Appleton and Green Bay.

Gregory and Vazquez loved the location.

“He’s really pumped his heart and soul into the restaurant,” said Gregory of Sergio’s outgoing owner. “The building is a top quality building with tons of potential. It has easy access to the highway.”

She said they aim to open Mojito’s by early September.

Sangria’s started in Oshkosh in 2008 and opened on Appleton’s Memorial Drive two years ago. When its Oshkosh lease ran out and liquor license transfer was problematic, they moved the Oshkosh branch to Green Bay and opened in February. Both Sangria’s restaurants are doing very well, she said.

In the new Mojito’s, she said they wanted to create something different from Sangria’s so that they would not complete with themselves.

“We want to do something a little more upscale, but still affordable, with authentic dishes from all of Mexico. We will have entertainment on the weekend in the bar. It will be a nice place for people to go have a night out. It will feature some specialized cuisine from all over Mexico. It will have a lot of original flair.”

A mojito, pronounced like mo-HE-toe, is a Cuban cocktail made with rum, sugar, lime and mint.

Sergio’s history dates back to its roots as Pedro’s in the Valley Fair Mall. Wall bought Pedro’s in 1985 and later changed its name when he joined the Sergio’s franchise. He moved the restaurant to its current location in 2000. Simultaneously, he owned The Four Torches on Northland Avenue for a dozen years. He sold that bar in the late 1990s and today it operates as Mr. G’s.

Wall encourages Sergio’s customers to use gift certificates and loyalty program rewards by July 15. He also, however, made an agreement that he will still reimburse customers who use Sergio’s certificates for 30 days after Mojito’s opens in the fall.

“It means a lot for him to be gracious,” said Gregory. “He doesn’t want any of his customers to lose out.”

— Maureen Wallenfang: 920-993-1000, ext. 287, or mwallenfang@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @wallenfang

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