Maria Bonita owner undeterred by delays

By: 
Sep. 5, 2012

After four years of preparation, Maria Bonita, at 195 W. Grenada Blvd., opened for business Aug. 21.

BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER

Henry Galvis was driving through Ormond Beach in 2008 and saw that a lot where he once owned a restaurant was for sale. It would be four years in between the first phone call to inquire about purchasing the lot and when Maria Bonita, 195 W. Granada Blvd., would finally open its doors.

Mounting renovation costs, financing issues and unforeseen building code obstacles, Galvis says, delayed the timeline for his fifth restaurant by over a year and forced him to acquire additional funding from family members and the city of Ormond Beach. Galvis also said that he was able to work with sub-contractors he knew from his other restaurants to make some renovations more affordable for the launch.

Galvis said the initial plan was to make minor renovations to the old building, which was formerly a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and extend the building with a patio.

“By the time when I was doing the renovations, we got more interest in the project (and making changes),” Galvis said. “And then we said ‘Why don’t we do this? Why don’t we do that?’ You know?”

That’s when Galvis said the costs began to exceed the initial $1 million financing he secured from a bank. Then his family, and his brother specifically, lent him some money so he could include key elements like new air conditioning units and a sprinkler system into the renovations.

“The most amazing thing with the project was the support from the people, from the sub-contractors, from everybody, even the city,” Galvis said. “The city was very nice to me. They gave me $100,000 from a fund they have (for development).”

Galvis, who also owns the Maria Bonita in South Daytona, said the opening of this restaurant was the most difficult of the five he has done. But he says it was rewarding when he was finally able to open the doors.

The majority of the menu consists of Mexican food, but he has also added about six Cuban dishes to help the restaurant stand out among its competition.

Galvis said he sold his old restaurant in Ormond Beach about 12 years ago because he didn’t see much of a future for it. But when he drove through the area four years ago he said he noticed the positive development and decided to return.