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Mexican will still be on the menu in Bedford, but under a different name

New Hampshire Union Leader

January 10. 2018 1:21PM
Bruce Johnston of Bedford and Linda Kurtz of Providence, R.I., get served fajitas by Juan Ensizo at Puerto Vallarta on Second Street in Manchester on Tuesday. The Mexican restaurant is moving to the former site of Shorty's on Route 101 in Bedford. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

The smell of chimichangas and sizzle of fajitas will return to the former Shorty’s Mexican Roadhouse location in Bedford.

Jorge Gomez — who owns two Mexican restaurants on Manchester’s Second Street — will relocate his Puerto Vallarta Mexican Grill about four miles to the Route 101 property in Bedford.

“I like that location,” Gomez said Tuesday. “I want to open the first week in March.”

Gomez plans to bring the Mexican-themed tables and chairs from his Manchester eatery to Bedford. His other restaurant, Nuevo Vallarta Mexican Grill, which he opened only four months ago, will continue operating at 791 Second St.

Bo Chancey, pastor at Manchester Christian Church, eats at Puerto Vallarta three or four days a week.

“This is our booth,” Chancey said of his corner lunch perch. “We paid for this (restaurant’s) expansion.”

The former Texas resident said he missed Mexican food. “Jorge has made this a little more like home,” Chancey said.

Jon Carnevale, who purchased all three Shorty’s New Hampshire locations from founder Rick Loeffler in February 2016, explained the sale of his Bedford location.

“I had an offer to purchase the space that I could not refuse,” he said in early January. Shorty’s closed there effective Jan. 1.

Gomez, asked about the comments, said he didn’t think he overpaid. He declined to disclose the sales price.

Shorty’s remaining locations are at 1050 Bicentennial Drive in Manchester and at the Nashua Mall on Gusabel Avenue in Nashua.

Gomez said he has two years remaining on his lease for the current Puerto Vallarta location.

“For right now, I want to open a sports bar,” he said, though he hasn’t made a final decision.

Opened four years ago, the current Puerto Vallarta location at 865 Second St. seats 100 people, so he will need to buy more chairs for the Bedford property, which seats 175.

He said he expects to have a staff of at least 30 people in Bedford, including many from his current Puerto Vallarta location.

He plans to keep the current menu and pricing in Bedford, but not the interior wall color.

Bedford resident Bruce Johnston dined on fajitas during lunch with his fiancee, Linda Kurtz.

“I’m thrilled he’s coming to Bedford,” Johnston said.

Union Leader Correspondent Kimberly Houghton contributed to this report.

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