“I fell in love with this location. The size of the space made me want to open a restaurant and bar here,” said Jennifer Hernandez, this afternoon as she and her brother took time from their busy schedules to visit with mhn.com in the dining area of Flores, a family restaurant and bar scheduled to open this spring at 431 Congress Street near City Hall.
For the past year, the space has been a work-in-progress with much needed renovations underway and the COVID-19 epidemic underway as well. “We were worried with the epidemic, but we decided to continue with the renovations. There was so much going on around us, we were uncertain about our future at this location. But things have calmed down now so we decided to continue,” said Jennifer.
She was referring to protests and rallies of all manner in front of city hall last year which would have complicated this family business.
During the past six (6) months Edwin Hernandez, brother of Jennifer, has been occupied with major renovations to the space. The tiny kitchen is now more than twice its original size, the former order space for Mainely Wraps, a past occupant, has been handsomely converted into a bar.
Edwin has also repainted the dining area into a sophisticated fine-dining space, put in a new floor and added overhead fashionable lighting that will equal any other venue in southern Maine for ambience. Edwin’s company, “All in One Renovations,” specializes in renovations “interior to exterior.” It’s a family operation with cousins working on site as well.
Their parents, Hector and Marcia Hernandez, left El Salvador for the United States when they were in their 20s. After some time in Boston where Edwin was born, they arrived in Portland. Both went to work at Barber Foods. After twenty (20) years of working there, the couple was laid off. “My mother’s dream was to open up her own business so she would never have that happen to her again,” said Jennifer She did just that. She opened a take-out in a small space – “Flores” on the west end of Portland, not far from Maine Medical Center Jennifer has worked there in many capacities which gives her the experience she needs to open up her own business – in a much larger space on the east end of Portland.
“I never thought I’d have my own restaurant, but here we are,” said the attractive and articulate Jennifer.
Flores, when it opens this spring, will serve lunch and dinner and be open six days a week.
For “All in One Renovations” information, please email Edwin at: firstname.lastname@example.org