For Octavio Caratachea, bringing a Mexican restaurant to the metro-east is more than a business deal. It’s a labor of love.
His third restaurant, Tres Caminos, is expected to open Oct. 2 at 601 N. Main St., Caseyville.
Every detail, from landscaping to the menu, has Caratachea’s touch. Hand-stitched logos adorn booths and chairs made in Mexico. One-of-a-kind murals reflect his heritage.
“That’s what I wanted for this restaurant,” Caratachea said. “I wanted it to look authentic.”
The young restauranteur isn’t new to the food and drink industry. At age 27, he owns two Mexican restaurants; one in Nashville, Tennessee, another in Bridgeton, Missouri.
Now, his latest restaurant, Tres Caminos, sits near the intersection of Illinois 157, South Morrison Avenue and Caseyville Road.
Tres Caminos is Spanish for “three roads.”
Caratachea hopes the location will bring business to the restaurant. The building was previously home to the Happy Cow restaurant until it closed in 2016.
A year later, Caratachea has transformed the restaurant inside and out.
A new restaurant hasn’t opened in Caseyville in years, village clerk Lola Cline said. Fast-food chains moved in decades ago, but there aren’t many full-service restaurants.
And, it’s been decades since someone has made a restaurant investment as large as this one.
Caratachea said he considered other cities, but he decided to take a bet on Caseyville because of its location. Fairview Heights is on his radar, too.
“This is a good town,” Caratachea said. “We’re happy to be here in Caseyville.”
When the restaurant opens, Caratachea will be able to seat about 100 people inside.
Outside, customers will be able to drink and dine on a patio. A fountain will be installed outdoors near the entrance of the restaurant.
Caseyville residents are eager to check the place out.
“The people are excited about it,” Cline said. “They are looking forward to having someplace new to eat.”