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Mami’s Authentic owners to close Iowa City location, open new restaurant on Burlington Street

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The current Iowa City location of Mami’s Authentic. — photo by Eleanore Taft

The owners of Mami’s Authentic will close their current Iowa City location and open a new restaurant, Estela’s, sometime in late August or early September. The new Mexican food joint will be located at 184 E Burlington St, next to Zombie Burger and close to Mami’s current location at 221 S Gilbert St.

“We definitely wanted something bigger with some room for sit-down customers,” co-owner Jerry Vasquez said. “We wanted to expand the menu; we needed some more room for the tortilla machine that we’re getting and we wanted to be in a more visible area.”

The new location will have about 30-40 seats inside and 10-15 patio seats. The additional size will allow them to offer a broader menu, including a wider variety of fresh salsas, Vasquez said.

Estela’s will be located next door to Zombie Burger in Iowa City. — photo by Eleanore Taft

“It’s going to be the same style but we’re going to start to produce our own tortillas,” he said. “We’re definitely moving towards fresh.”

Like Mami’s, Estela’s will be open for the late-night crowd, staying open until 3 a.m.

Vasquez originally opened Mami’s with his mother, Elsa Delapaz, in Muscatine in 2004. They called it Mami’s after Vasquez’ grandmother, who is also the namesake of the forthcoming version, Estela’s, he said. They opened the Iowa City location five years ago with business partner Tyler Tiecke, and three years ago they opened an additional location in Boulder, Colorado.

“We hope to bring the ultimate burrito experience and the best fresh Mexican experience possible,” Vasquez said.

Mami’s current location will either be sublet or used as a backup location for possible catering work.


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