Mexican restaurant to open in downtown Youngstown

By David Skolnick


Los Gallos Authentic Mexican Restaurant and Sports Cantina signed a lease to open its seventh location at the former Cafe Cimmento site downtown.

Lou Frangos — whose company, USA Parking Inc., owns the Plaza Parking Deck, where Los Gallos will open — said he signed a five-year lease, with a five-year option, a few days ago.

Israel Zambrano, who owns Los Gallos, said he’s been looking for a downtown Youngstown location for quite a while.

“I was looking on Federal Street but couldn’t find the right location,” he said.

The 120 E. Boardman St. location, which used to be the home of Cafe Cimmento, opened up when that restaurant closed in April.

“This is a good spot,” Zambrano said. “It’s close to the Covelli Centre. The events there will bring some business.”

The location will undergo some “cosmetic changes” to convert it from looking like an Italian restaurant to a Mexican one, he said.

The restaurant should open by late November, he said.

The Vindicator first reported in late June that Los Gallos was negotiating with Frangos to open at the downtown location, but Zambrano denied a deal was imminent at the time.

The two sides spent several months ironing out a lease, said Frangos, who added that he was in discussions with another company before going with Los Gallos.

“People wanted to start something new, but I wanted to go with an established restaurant,” Frangos said. “Israel’s got a good business.”

Zambrano took USA Parking officials to his other locations to see how the restaurants are run, and that helped with the decision, Frangos said.

“We determined, in the end, that this concept was the best for our building and downtown Youngstown,” Frangos said.

Cafe Cimmento opened in 2006 and closed this past April with the owner, George Mager, saying the abundance of new restaurants downtown in recent years was a large factor in his decision. He also is nearing retirement, and no one else in his family wanted to take over the business.

Los Gallos opened its first restaurant in Boardman in 2004. The business then expanded to Bedford in Cuyahoga County. The other four restaurants are in the Mahoning Valley — Austintown, Struthers, Howland and North Lima.