Spokane Journal of Business

Downtown Azteca to be converted to Maracas Mexican Grill

Name change to occur on Dec. 1, owners say

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The Azteca Mexican Restaurant in downtown Spokane soon will be converted into a Maracas Mexican Grill, becoming the second Maracas restaurant here.

Restaurateurs Arturo and America Zalpa say they’ve operated the restaurant at 245 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. as an Azteca Mexican Restaurants franchised eatery for about 15 years, and they recently decided to turn it into a family-owned and -operated Maracas Mexican Grill.

“I wanted to go out from the franchise, especially in that restaurant, because around downtown, there aren’t many Mexican restaurants,” America Zalpa says. “To pay a franchise, it’s more money. (This) is a new opportunity for us to have our own restaurant.” 

About 20 employees work at the 8,000-square-foot downtown restaurant, most of whom are friends or family of the couple, Zalpa says.

The Zalpas own one other Maracas, located at 2910 E. 57th, on the South Hill. The business is incorporated as Maracas Zalpa LLC, doing business as Maracas Mexican Grill.

Marisol Zalpa, daughter of Arturo and America Zalpa, says the downtown restaurant will become a Maracas Mexican Grill on Dec. 1. 

She says the restaurant will hold a grand opening on Dec. 8, which will include a mariachi band and discounts for all customers who come by.

The Maracas menu features a variety of traditional Mexican fare, including enchiladas, tamales, tacos, and burritos. 

The Zalpas aren’t affiliated with the Azteca Mexican Restaurants on Spokane’s North Side, at 9738 N. Newport Highway, or in Spokane Valley, in the Spokane Valley Mall at 14700 E. Indiana. The couple also isn’t affiliated with the Azteca Southwest Grill in Coeur d’Alene.

Separately, SpoPro LLC, of Spokane, bought the Azteca restaurant building along Spokane Falls Boulevard last summer for $800,000, says Francesca Baier, whose family operates SpoPro as a real estate investment company.

The building has 2,400 square feet of space above the restaurant, which Baier says will be renovated over the winter and could be used for office space, condominiums, a yoga studio, or other purposes.

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the health care industry. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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