A Mexican restaurant will open in the former Buffalo Wild Wings in Aurelius

After sitting empty for more than five years, the former Buffalo Wild Wings at Fingerlakes Crossing in Aurelius will become a new restaurant.

Mexican restaurant Casa Azteca will open in the 1624 Clark St. Road space in four to five months, said Fernando Aguirre, speaking on behalf of his cousin, Jose Reyes, who owns the restaurant along with Rafa Atilano.

The family operates two other restaurants in the Finger Lakes region: Casa Mezcal: Flavors of Mexico in Bath and Old Mexico Restaurant & Cantina in Ithaca.

Aguirre told the Citizen the family chose Auburn as the site for their third restaurant as part of their plan to expand into the Finger Lakes region.

“We’re trying to go around the whole of the Finger Lakes,” he said. “We feel like here in New York there aren’t a lot of Mexican restaurants. This is a really big opportunity for us.”

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The restaurant is owned by Northeast Capital Group, of Ramapo, which bought the Fingerlakes Crossing shopping center for $13.1 million in 2017.

The partners initially considered opening in the former Connie’s Tex Mex on State Street, since it firm in 2020. But the former Buffalo Wild Wings, which firm in 2017 offered more space in a better location. The space is beautiful, Aguirre said, but needs a little work. Once renovated as Casa Azteca, the interior space and patio will accommodate approximately 260 people.

The menu will include traditional Mexican dishes, with vegetarian and vegan options, as well as a full bar with 18 draft lines. Aguirre said the menu draws inspiration from several Mexican states, including Oaxaca, Puebla and Sonora. Along with more familiar options like tacos and queso, there will be less familiar options like mariscada, a stew with mussels, shrimp, calamari, and other shellfish.

“Every mom in Mexico likes to cook every day, so everything we do is traditional,” Aguirre said. “People get confused with Tex-Mex. But we’re from Mexico, so we know what Mexican food is.”

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Lake Life editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.

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