Tex-Mex News

Mexican restaurant with Guy Fieri thumbs up expands to East Dallas

Mexican restaurant with Guy Fieri thumbs up expands to East Dallas

Avila's Mexican Restaurant, Dallas
Tex-Mex approved by Guy. Yelp

UPDATE 12-19-2018: Avila's has not yet signed a lease with the shopping center, but intends to move into a space currently occupied by another tenant still to be named.


Tex-Mex institution Avila's Restaurant has a plan to open a second location in a neighborhood east of its original location. Called Avila's East, it would open in the historic Casa Linda Plaza in 2019.

To get there, the restaurant has launched a campaign on investment crowdfunding portal NextSeed, the same Houston-based group that has helped launch restaurants such as Leela's Wine Bar.

Avila's has been serving brisket tacos, chiles rellenos, and its award-winning hot sauce on Maple Avenue for 32 years. The restaurant got a big, some might say life-saving, bump after being featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.

The new restaurant will be spearheaded by Trent Marrs, great-grandson of the original founders and a lifelong apprentice in the family business. It will be 2,000 square feet larger than the original, with three times the seating capacity, an outdoor patio space, and TV screens mounted on the walls, making Avila's East not only a Tex-Mex destination but also a place to watch sports.

Marrs has worked in a managerial role at the original Avila's since he was 16. He says in a release that he has always wanted to open his own restaurant.

"I want to create a hub where the diverse community of East Dallas can come any day or night of the week and know they’re getting some awesome and authentic Tex-Mex food," he says.

Avila's East will reprise the same family feel and aesthetics, with Mexican artwork featured on the walls. Head chef David Quezada will oversee the new kitchen.

But Marrs has plans to modernize, including increasing social media presence and adding signature craft cocktails.

One thing that will make Avila's East unique will be its capacity to serve larger parties which couldn't fit in the original location which has only 47 seats.

The crowdfunding campaign has already attracted 57 investors who've contributed a total of $26,900. The minimum investment is $100, but if you invest $5,000 or more, you get free queso for life. I mean, you could go in multiple times on the same day.

There is more about the campaign as well as more than you could possibly imagine about the history of the restaurant on NextSeed.com.

Marrs hopes that the second location will become a go-to dinner spot for the residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the nearby White Rock Lake.

"Avila's was founded by my great-grandparents over three decades ago because they wanted to share their recipes with the community," Marrs says. "East Dallas is known for its own tight-knit community, and I can't wait for Avila's East to be part of it."