Credit: Joe Zimmermann

A Bethesda restaurant is about to open its second location in Park Potomac, focusing on tacos and tequila.

Gringos & Mariachis opens Tuesday in the development along I-270. Co-owner Roberto Pietrobono said the new location will be similar to the original—which opened in Woodmont Triangle in early 2014—with some menu variations and a bigger size.

“If it could reach the success of Gringos in Bethesda, I’d be really happy,” Pietrobono said.

At about 3,100 square feet, it’s about 800 square feet larger than the original. It will seat about 100 people inside and about 60 more on a planned outdoor patio and indoor-outdoor bar.

Like the Bethesda restaurant, Gringos in Park Potomac will feature murals inspired by Mexican street art on its walls and authentic Mexican food on its menu. That includes a wide selection of tacos, margaritas and other cocktails, as well as specialty appetizers like duck nachos and bacon-wrapped jalapeños.

The restaurant will have 12 beers on tap and a wine selection. Pietrobono said he hopes Gringos will “change the dynamic of the area” by giving people a space open late for food and drinks.


Originally slated to open in the spring or summer of 2016, Gringos was beset by ongoing construction and setup delays. Pietrobono said there were many reasons for the delay—including his own choice changing the interior design—but didn’t want to blame others for setbacks that seemed to arise at every step of the process, he said.

“I think that if you look at the changes that have been made, I think that in the long run its going to be beneficial,” he said. “That’s the only thing that I had to hold on to, to keep my sanity through the whole process—that some of these delays would turn out to be a good thing.”

For instance, the bar with seats inside and outside would not have happened without delays that allowed him to plan it out, he said.


Pietrobono, with his brother Riccardo Pietrobono, also owns the Olazzo Italian restaurants in Bethesda and Silver Spring and Alatri Bros., which opened in March in the former Mia’s Pizzas space next to the original Gringos & Mariachis on Cordell Avenue.

Pietrobono said he’s not interested in thinking about opening any new restaurants for the time being. After breaking his hand in the last week before the opening, he said, he’s ready to take some time to relax.

Gringos & Mariachis will be open at 4:30 p.m. for dinner Tuesdays through Sundays, closing at 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant will open Monday nights and for daily lunch and brunches in late December or early January.


Interior photos courtesy of Violetta Markelou

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