Maggie Rita's Mexican Bar & Grill, 111 23rd Street, is a recently opened Mexican restaurant in downtown Galveston. Co-founders Santiago Moreno and popular comedian Carlos Mencia opened Maggie Rita's in hopes of establishing their restaurant in places where a unique dining experience would benefit not only themselves but also the community. The first Maggie Rita's was established in New Orleans after the devastation of hurricane Katrina with the hope of bringing tourism and commerce back to the city. They opened the Galveston restaurant with the same goals in August of 2010 during the ongoing recovery from hurricane Ike.
Maggie Rita’s offers a relaxed, fun atmosphere, good food and great margaritas. Serving Tex-Mex and Mexican food with a full service bar, this modern Mexican food restaurant is unique to downtown because they are open late and provide a fun atmosphere without being cliché. The restaurant plays a mix of Top 40, 70s and 80s pop music instead of the Mariachi music heard in most Mexican restaurants. Wednesdays are date night at Maggie Rita’s with a 2 for 1 enchilada dinner special and they have happy hour on weekdays from 4pm to 7pm. The restaurant is open daily except Tuesdays from 11am to 9pm. The restaurant also offers outstanding views of downtown Galveston, the historic Strand and Galveston harbor. With three floors to the restaurant, all with outdoor patios, visitors to Maggie Rita’s are sure to find a unique view of Galveston.
When asked about his experience in downtown Galveston so far, co-owner Santiago Moreno said he was surprised at how business friendly historic downtown Galveston is. “As a business owner, you worry about moving into a historic area because of the regulations they can place upon you. But Galveston’s regulations are all very reasonable and clear,” says Moreno. On a more personal level, Moreno said he is really pleased with his decision to move to Galveston. He and his wife took their honeymoon on the island and 34 years later, he’s back. He said his children and grandchildren love visiting him because the island has so much to offer, especially downtown. While his wife likes shopping in the downtown boutiques, some of Moreno’s favorite downtown destinations are Nestle Toll House Café, Yaga’s Café and Bar, and LaKing’s Confectionery.
Maggie Rita’s is located in the three-story Armour & Co. Building which is part of Mitchell Historic Properties. The building dates to 1912 and offers indoor and outdoor dining with views of The Strand or Galveston’s historic harbor. The restaurant is adjacent to Saengerfest Park. Mitchell Historic Properties oversees Galveston properties owned by George Mitchell and the Mitchell family, including its commercial and residential properties located downtown. For leasing information, visit www.mitchellhistoricproperties.com or call (409) 763-5806.