A week into the opening of his newest venture, Fins Hospitality Group founder Jeff Hamer said El Jefe Gordo on Rehoboth Avenue is doing really well.
“It’s been busy,” said Hamer, while sitting at one of the family-style picnic tables on the restaurant’s patio. “It was a great first week.”
Opened July 1, El Jefe Gordo on Rehoboth Avenue is Fins Hospitality Group’s first foray into Mexican food.
“I love tacos, and I love tequila,” said Hamer on why the company decided to switch it up a bit.
During an interview July 10, Hamer said the goal is a casual Mexican restaurant where families can afford to eat good food at a reasonable price. There are other Mexican restaurants in town, but the bill gets over $100 without too much trouble, he said.
“There’s a need for a place like this on the avenue,” said Hamer. “It’s a place you can come sit down in your bathing suit, eat a taco, have a drink and not feel out of place.”
Similar to the other restaurants that fall under the Fins Hospitality Group umbrella – Big Oyster Brewery, Fins Fish House, Fins Ale House, Claws Seafood House – Hamer said everything on the menu is handmade, fresh that day. From the salsa and queso dips, to the tortillas and nachos, it’s all made in house, he said.
“It takes a couple extra minutes, but it’s fresh,” Hamer said. “The food is never dropped out of a bag and then put in a steamer.”
This is Hamer’s third restaurant on Rehoboth Avenue. He said he wasn’t sure he wanted to open another in downtown, but the location was great, and he credited Rehoboth city officials with being easy to work with.
Hamer said there wasn’t much work needed to the building because a lot of the renovations had been done for a previous restaurant. What it needed was just a bunch of cosmetic work, he said, crediting local restaurant designer extraordinaire Rebecca Fluharty with giving the formerly dark space a more modern, streamlined look, without sacrificing the feel of a Mexican restaurant.
“She does all our restaurants,” he said.
Hamer said the name, loosely translated to the Fat Boss, is what some of the people in the kitchen called him as a joke. He said he like the ring of it and decided it would be a good name for the restaurant.
“You’ve got to go with what sounds right,” he said, laughing. “If that’s what they call me, let’s go with it.”
El Jefe Gordo, 251 Rehoboth Ave., is open 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
For more information, call 302-212-5631 or go to facebook.com/ElJefeGordo.