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Three Amigos

Taqueria 3 Amigos is moving from Henry Street Downtown and into bigger digs on Williamson Street. 

A new Mexican restaurant is moving into the former home of El Sabor de Puebla on Williamson street and most everyone who enters is called "friend."

"I call everybody amigo -- 'Hey, how are you, amigo?' every time the people come and eat," said Juan Cazares, who opened Taqueria 3 Amigos at 309 N. Henry St. Downtown almost two years ago.

But he's limited to 10 counter seats at the current location and is excited to have ample seating in the house at 1133 Williamson St., which before El Sabor de Puebla had been Cafe Costa Rica.

In December, El Sabor de Puebla moved into the former location of 4 & 20 Bakery & Cafe, 306 N. Fourth St., behind East High School.

Cazares is painting the Willy Street space green with blue trim on the window frames, and intends to get new murals. Pending city inspections, he hopes to open in the new spot by June 15.

"It is a family restaurant," said Cazares, whose wife, Gloria Lopez, helps him cook. The couple has three children: 10, 8 and 9 months. 

Cazares, 34, had been a cook, waiter and then a manager at a local Laredo's location, and has been working in restaurants for 15 years.

Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, he's lived in the United States for almost 20 years. Before moving to Madison almost four years ago, he lived in Monroe.

Henry Street is more of a to-go place with tacos, enchiladas, burritos and fajitas. "The problem is when you order a big dish like fajitas, you want to sit down and enjoy it. That's the problem here, I don't have any tables," Cazares said.

On Willy Street he's expanding his menu and will have specials on weekends like pozole, menudo, tamales and seafood.

"It's more comfortable to sit down at a table with one of your friends instead of sitting down at a bar and a stranger comes and sits down next to you so sometimes people don't feel so comfortable," Cazares said. "That's why we are moving."

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Wisconsin State Journal food writer Samara Kalk Derby brings you the latest news on the Madison area's eclectic restaurant scene.