The Azul 17 restaurant looks ready to open on Snowden River Parkway in Columbia. I don't know much, and I'm trying to keep my expectations low because nothing beats discovering an unexpected treat -- like the recent arrival of a great new joint for sandwiches and bread.
But I'm piecing together hopes that Azul 17 is going to open something special. Talk of upscale Mexican. Ads for fine-dining waiters on the door. Modern furniture that certainly looks like it'll compete with Aida Bistro for classiest spot in a strip mall. The new sign says "Mexican Cuisine & Tequila Lounge." They registered the Web site http://www.azul17.com/ in mid-August.
Again, I don't know much. A few weeks ago, Vkatnyte commented that Azul 17 had been advertising for bartenders and servers on Craiglist. Vkatnyte mentioned a chef/owner named Damien. A few days later, Anonymous commented that he/she had been talking to Lily Soto, the owner of Lily's Mexican Market about a place to be opened by her husband Julio:
I drove by and sure enough it is there and is suppose to open beginning of October. It looks really cool inside with blue teal walls and white leather banquettes, very modern & lounge like. She mentioned the food would be authentic but with a more contemporary preparation, offering over 100 tequilas, and live lounge djs on friday and saturdays. I am so excited to have a new and hip place to hange out on the weekends, Can't Wait!I love Lily's Mexican Market -- ironically because it feels authentically local, like a place Mexicans would do their basic shopping. Modern banquettes, 100 tequilas and live DJs would be a very different feel. Last night, we drove past on our way back from sushi, and it looked like there were televisions playing inside Azul 17. I caught only a glimpse from Snowden, but it got me excited. But trying not to be too excited!
What else do you know about Azul 17? The new restaurant is in the same shopping center as Akbar's and Nichi Bei Kai. It's the stretch between Broken Land Parkway and Rte 175, south of the Home Depot.
This looks like the kind of place that wants to be on Top 10 lists, so check out my 2009 "best restaurants" in Howard County.