Deb Abraham Spalding
Eagerly, local residents have been anticipating the opening of Los Amigos Restaurant in the former Pizza Hut building in Thurmont for over a year. Owner Roberto Joaquin jokingly “blames his daughter” for this business venture. One he claims as a venture from the heart.
Joaquin moved from Mexico to Hagerstown at age 20. He said he was, “full of dreams and looking for adventure.” He became the main cook at a restaurant in Hagerstown, and eventually, he opened his own restaurant, Los Amigos. Los Amigos in Hagerstown has been open for four years. He and his wife, Rosario, have four children, ages four, six, fourteen, and twenty.
Three years ago, at the request of his daughter, now age six, to visit a petting zoo, Joaquin and his family visited the Catoctin Zoo. The family looked for a place to eat afterward, but their short search showed fast food and pizza.
Because of that experience, Joaquin identified a need for a Mexican venue in Thurmont. Already operating the Los Amigos Restaurant in Hagerstown, he considered opening a second location in, or near, Thurmont, and kept his eyes open for commercial locations. Soon the Pizza Hut location was posted.
The community watched and waited through renovations, permits, and COVID. Many were eager for the local Mexican cuisine option since they had to drive at least fifteen miles in any direction for it.
Joaquin did not let the community down. Los Amigos Restaurant officially opened on Monday, February 15, 2021. He prepared for the new location’s opening by bringing a tenured bartender, several wait staff members, and an experienced chef from the Hagerstown location, and using the various renovation and COVID delays to train new staff at the Hagerstown location.
That plan worked. Things are going great. The quality at the new location matches the quality of that at the Hagerstown operation. You can feel the professionalism and calm from the experienced staff and taste the quality of the cuisine in Thurmont. Joaquin said, “I didn’t want anyone to say Thurmont wasn’t as good.”
Los Amigos uses only fresh ingredients to create and fulfill a varied and tasty menu from scratch every day. The same attention to quality can be found in their margaritas. House margs are delicious and come in three sizes; small (enough), medium (I’m having a good time), and large (Wowzer!). For the marg connoisseur, even Los Amigos’ house variety exceeds expectations. Try top shelf for a five-star delivery!
Joaquin said, “Thank you!” to the community. He said he wasn’t expecting such a warm welcome. He promises to bring the best food and service for our community!
“I care about the customer so much. I want them to have a parking space; I want them to have a good experience.” Joaquin always seeks comments from diners and constantly makes improvements. He listens. He added, “Make your comments; I want to make things the best.”
The facility is clean and staff adheres to COVID guidelines. Despite the restaurant’s spacious size, it fills quickly at 50 percent seating and often overflows to a wait for seating. Diners are encouraged to plan accordingly when deciding when to visit. The restaurant is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Stop by for in-house dining or call for take-out at 301-271-8888.
Pictured from left are servers Zefe, Joel, Alex, and Edgar.
Los Amigos owner, Roberto Joaquin.