Riviera Tapas Bar Coming to Riverdale Park

The co-owner of a Mexican-Spanish tapas bar in Silver Spring is planning to open a similar restaurant at the former home of S&J Restaurant in Riverdale Park.

Area resident Hugo Bonilla, a former cook at Busboys and Poets on 14th Street, told the Hyattsville Wire he plans to open Riveria Tapas Bar by the end of the summer.

The restaurant will serve a fusion of American, Spanish and Mexican tapas in contemporary and traditional cooking styles. While Bonilla says he plans to open at first without alcohol for permitting reasons, the restaurant will eventually serve sangrias and other drinks as well.

The new food spot will have a “rustic, clean decor,” with a casual feel and lots of small dishes under $10 so that people can share food. The menu will be small and will change regularly.

The location can seat 75 indoors, but Bonilla said they are applying for permits to set up an outdoor patio as well with additional seating.

Bonilla is one of three brothers and a brother-in-law who own a Spanish-Mexican tapas restaurant in downtown Silver Spring called La Malinche, which opened in 2012. Originally from El Salvador, he’s lived in the area for a decade, and felt like it was time to serve food closer to home.

“We live close by and they don’t have a lot of tapas in the area,” he said. “The area is growing. We’re trying to make the food at an average price so everyone can come.”

The restaurant would be one of the latest additions to Riverdale Park’s town center and will be across the street from Bikram Yoga Works, the expanding Town Center Market and the upcoming upscale fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant Banana Blossom Bistro.

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