If you were out enjoying the gorgeous spring weather yesterday and took a stroll down Bowen’s Wharf, you may have noticed some commotion over at Diego’s. Construction workers, a trailer, the sounds of machinery were all for good reason – the contemporary Mexican spot is adding a second level with a deck, waterfront views, an additional bar and more bathrooms. The project was officially approved at last night’s City Council meeting.
The often packed restaurant, owned by Scott Kirmil and his wife Adrienne, is expanding into Roger King Gallery’s former space and is overdue for the extra room. “As we’ve grown, we’ve kind of outgrown our bar. Seating is tight, the bar is tight,” Kirmil said. Kirmil hopes the addition of the second floor bar, indoor dining, and more seats of outdoor dining will create a more comfortable experience in-season and off-season.
Currently, Diego’s has the capacity of 39 indoor seats and 50 outdoor seats on the first floor, according to their application for expansion. The expansion will change the first floor to have 25 indoor seats and 44 outdoor seats. The 2nd floor will include 32 indoor seats and 23 indoor bar seats. A total of 124 seats (84 indoor seats and 44 outdoor seats) will be available when the project is completed.
Kirmil said the new outdoor dining area – available to guests in spring and summer – will be located on the second floor deck. “The deck will be above the first floor bar and will go across the patio with a stairway down onto the patio. This will allow guests to go up to our new upstairs bar and dining room.” Kirmil said.
Indoors, large windows overlooking the Black Pearl and the boats in the harbor means Diego’s can now offer guests waterfront views. “A lot of guests call and ask if we have a water view. Now we can say we do,” Kirmil said.
One upgrade Kirmil thinks Diego’s regulars will especially like is the addition of more bathrooms – an extra one accessible from the patio and two more on the second floor. “We’ve been plagued with a single patio bathroom for the last eight years,” Kirmil said. “We’re finally able to add a second bathroom on the patio and one that’s handicap accessible. We’re losing some patio space for it but it will definitely make it more comfortable having two there.”
As for changes to Diego’s food and beverage offerings, Kirmil said to stay tuned for a drink update coming in May. They’ll also be looking to add more cold food – ceviches and crudos – to the menu.
Kirmil said the goal is to be done with the expansion project by end of May. “The structural stuff is done and we’re making progress on the new patio bathroom,” he said. “We will be closing for a week or five days at some point, but otherwise we will be staying open for a smooth transition.”
For more information on Diego’s, visit www.diegosnewport.com.