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New restaurant opens in Russellville after year of pandemic pushback

After experiencing a year of delays opening because of the pandemic, El Buen Sabor held its grand opening March 20 in downtown Russellville, finding a warm welcome from customers ready for authentic Latin food.

The family-owned business is open at 104 Montgomery St. SW in Russellville.

“This is something that is very humbling, to have people come in and tell you they like your food and what you are doing,” said owner Walter Perez. “We are very excited about finally being open.”

Perez said the restaurant was supposed to open this past year around the time COVID-19 first hit, but the opening was delayed because of the restrictions.

“It wasn’t the best time to be opening a restaurant for us,” Perez said. “Everyone was facing challenges, so we thought it would be the best decision to push back opening for a little while.”

Perez said he is excited to finally see the restaurant open.

“It has been a long year, getting to this point,” Perez said.

Perez said El Buen Sabor has been discussed among his family for years. He and his family love to cook.

“We had people ask us if we ever considered opening a restaurant,” Perez said. “We loved the idea of exposing people to what we were doing.” Opening a Latin restaurant seemed like a natural fit, to allow the family the chance to be authentic.

“It was food we were going to be cooking anyway,” Perez said. “We are Latin, and we want people to experience our food and our culture.”

Along with Perez, his wife, sister and brother-in-law are involved in El Buen Sabor. None of the family members have prior experience managing a restaurant.

“Since it would be our first restaurant, we knew we would have to learn along the way,” Perez said. “We know we are going to have to change things as we go along, but we are ready to learn.”

Perez said since the grand opening March 20, he has been pleasantly surprised by the amount of support the business has gotten, even selling out the first two days of being open.

“We are really excited to be open and to have people try our food,” Perez said. “We look forward to meeting everyone.”

El Buen Sabor will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.