New restaurant

Pictured is the future home of a restaurant that will serve South Texas/Puerto Rican dishes, at 116 W. High St., on the north side of the downtown square in Bryan.

A tasty new option is coming soon to downtown Bryan, along with a chef who some might remember from a popular former eatery in the city.

The new restaurant, which as of yet does not have an official name, is in the early planning stage, according to owner and chef Ricardo Leal. But some basic renovation work is already underway at the site, at 116 W. High St., most recently the location of the Reloved From Drab2Fab store, on the north side of the downtown square.

“I don’t know about a time frame” Leal said when asked about an opening date. “And with COVID, there’s no hurry.”

Leal described the restaurant as “fast-casual,” offering similar fare to the popular downtown Defiance eatery he owns, Dos Eppi’s, which serves South Texas and Puerto Rican dishes. Leal describes it as being similar to the popular Chipotle chain of restaurants.

Leal’s name may be familiar to some Bryan diners. Prior to launching Dos Eppi’s, he worked for a time at the popular Kaufman’s restaurant, which has since closed and is now the home of Jackie Blu’s.

Property owner Dave Swanson said the project came together after he was approached by a member of the city’s downtown development committee, seeking to add another restaurant to the downtown.

He’s as excited as anyone to taste what Leal whips up from his new restaurant.

“Everybody I talk to just says his Puerto Rican rice is just to die for,” Swanson said.

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