You may have noticed the giant empanada sculpture guarding the future home of Julio’s Empanadas Latin Twist Cafe at 2201 49th St. S. in Gulfport. It’s a sign of Spanish food coming soon, says Julio Pagan.
Pagan owns Julio’s Empanadas and hopes to open his Latin restaurant by the end of July.
“We have a contractor who is dragging his feet, and has been dragging his feet for six months now,” Pagan, a New Jersey transplant, said. “It’s all falling into place, but the end date falls on him.”
Julio’s Empanadas will serve Spanish dishes such as empanadas (deviled crab is the speciality), potato balls, black bean soup, and bowls. Pagan is approved for 30 seats, inside and outdoor. If all goes right, the restaurant will obtain a liquor license and sell beer and, Pagan hopes, piña coladas.
“We’re excited to open, excited to get to know this community,” Pagan said.
While the empanada restaurant is not yet open, passersby can check out the colorful Spanish-inspired wraparound mural on the building.