When brothers Efren Perez Rodriguez, Arturo Perez Rodriguez and their brother-in-law, Eugenio De Los Santos, moved to America from Santiago Tetla, located in the Mexican state of Puebla more than 20 years ago, they began dreaming of one day opening their own family-run restaurant.
Over the years they have worked behind the scenes in kitchens at numerous restaurants, such as the now-closed Seafood Barge in Southold, Front Street Station in Greenport and Comfort Diner in Manhattan.
Now, after nearly two decades, their vision is becoming a reality.
The trio, who call themselves “the three compadres,” are opening a Mexican-American restaurant called Puerto Verde in early June. Puerto Verde, which literally translates to Green Port, is located at home of the former Six Three One restaurant in Southold.
“We always wanted to open our own restaurant,” Efren Perez Rodriguez said. “We’re so excited. This is the first time we’ll be on our own instead of in the back.”
Mr. De Los Santos said he and his brother-in-laws will be the chefs, sharing their family recipes with customers. Their daughters, Elizabeth De Los Santos and Lorena Perez, will also work at the restaurant.
Puerto Verde will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. There will also be daily specials and a bar where liquor will be served. Desserts will be offered as well.
Omelettes and huevos rancheros will be served for breakfast. Lunch and dinner will consist of tacos, enchiladas and tortas, a Mexican style sandwich, all at affordable prices, Ms. De Los Santos said.
“Everything is so good,” said Mr. De Los Santos. “We have a little of everything. We want it to be authentic, actual Mexican food.”
Efren Perez Rodriguez lives on the North Fork with his family, but his brother and Mr. De Los Santos live in Queens. They plan on commuting to the restaurant with hopes of moving to the area in the future.
It was the beauty of the area that led the family to choose this location to open their inaugural restaurant. They hope to incorporate the feel of the waterfront town with their home country of Mexico to create a relaxing atmosphere inside.
“We want to play off that name and it’s meaning,” Ms. De Los Santos said of the name Puerto Verde. “It’s going to be comfy. We want to remind you of Cancún or somewhere nice next to the water.”
Additionally, they are planning to offer samples and feature live music during their opening weekend.
Ms. De Los Santos said seeing her father and uncles meet this lifelong goal inspired her to study business management. She hopes to open her own restaurant or running a second Puerto Verde location in the future.
“This is their American dream,” she said. “That can be interpreted for everyone differently, but they are living theirs.”
Puerto Verde is located at 62375 Main Road, Southold. You can call the restaurant at (631) 407-5555.
Top photo: Efren Perez Rodriguez, Eugenio De Los Santos and Arturo Perez Rodriguez inside their new restaurant Puerto Verde. (Credit: Nicole Smith)