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Cilantro Tacos at Tioga, Bento, Mother’s North now open

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Gyro Plus, however, has closed, but there may be plans to reopen the Mediterranean restaurant next to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Here is a roundup of Gainesville restaurant news.

Cilantro Tacos

Cilantro Tacos, a Mexican restaurant, also known for a food truck that makes its rounds in Gainesville, has opened one of its two planned locations.

Cilantro Tacos at Tioga Town Center, 12921 SW First Road, Suite 103, opened Jan. 16.

Owner Sydney Meth said in April the location would still offer all of Cilantro Tacos’ favorites, like its steak, fish, shrimp or chicken tacos, burritos and five types of salsa.

Meth could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

According to its Facebook page, the new location has already been a hit with west Gainesville and Newberry residents. The location has at least once sold out of its food inventory, a post said.

With the move to Tioga, Cilantro Tacos’ first location, ‎25740 W. Newberry Road, has since closed after five years in the spot.

A second Cilantro Tacos is expected to open in the old International Grocery & Deli, 317 SW Fourth Ave., which will become a part of the Fourth Avenue Food Park scheduled to open in spring.

In April, Meth said the decision to open the new restaurants was not made to get rich but because she believes her food can connect people from all walks of life.

Cilantro Tacos in Tioga is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


Its sign has been up for months, but Bento, a pan-Asian restaurant founded in Gainesville 16 years ago, has now opened at The Standard.

Bento had its soft opening Wednesday at 150 NW 13th St. after delays in construction postponed its opening, said owner Johnny Tung.

Tung said he decided to open Bento at The Standard because of its proximity to the University of Florida and its loyal Gainesville following.

“Gainesville is where Bento started,” he said. “We consider this a homecoming of sorts.”

Tung opened the first Bento off Newberry Road with his brother, Jimmy, in 2002, and has since expanded the brand to 11 other locations in Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and South Florida.

Bento at The Standard will offer all of Bento’s menu favorites, like its curries, pad thai, lo mein, sushi, teriyaki dishes and of course, its famous Bento boxes, Tung said.

It also offers boba tea, Asian beers and sake.

Tung said the restaurant has 60 seats and an outdoor patio. It’s open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and will most likely deliver through Bite Squad, he said.

Bento plans to open up at least seven more locations this year, Tung said. Its corporate offices are in Orlando.

Mother’s Bar and Pub North

Mother’s Pub and Grill has opened a second location in the former Sal’s Place spot at 5109 NW 39th Ave.

Owner Patrick Schaller said the new location, Mother’s North, has more of a “restaurant feel” than the 11-year-old Mother’s location on West University Avenue. It opened Dec. 22.

“Mother’s on University will always be my dive bar,” Schaller said. “Mother’s North has a little cleaner, restaurant feel to it.”

Mother’s North offers the same menu items as the West University location, Schaller said, which includes an assortment of options, including food items from tacos, chicken wings and salads to Shepherd’s pie and Sloppy Joes.

It is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday.

Schaller said the West University Mother’s location will remain open, despite some customers’ worries that a new location would mean closing the old one.

“People have been saying this place was closed for three years,” he joked. “We are open.”

Gyro Plus

Mother’s West University neighbor, Gyro Plus, closed Sunday. However, Schaller said its customers are in luck.

There are plans to reopen the Mediterranean restaurant next to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 2401 SW 13th Street, a previous location, Schaller said.

The Gyro Plus 352 Delivery page also said owners had plans to reopen the store at that location.

Its owners could not be reached for comment. Schaller said owners told him they planned to reopen at the new location in a few weeks.