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Upscale Mexican dishes and fresh-pressed juices moving into the old Packhouse space

Vishnu Varthanan, a restaurateur in Germany, is opening two adjoining Mexican restaurants in Charlotte — one upscale, and one fast-casual.
Vishnu Varthanan, a restaurateur in Germany, is opening two adjoining Mexican restaurants in Charlotte — one upscale, and one fast-casual. Courtesy of Vishnu Varthanan

Boga Mexicana, a Mexican restaurant taking over the space where The Packhouse used to be, is anticipated to open in February 2020.

Vishnu Varthanan, the new owner of the space who is a restaurant operator in Germany, said Boga Mexicana will be an upscale Mexican restaurant that serves quality products.

The space will be designed with handmade decorations and furniture imported from Mexico. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, and it will have a full bar with fresh-pressed juices for cocktails.

“We think what we have is different,” Varthanan said.” Every product is taken care of for individuality and is very valuable.”

Although the name has not been decided upon yet, the adjacent space where Joe and Nosh used to be will also be transformed into a modern, fast-casual Mexican restaurant. It will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and will offer a cheaper menu compared to Boga Mexicana.

“The process of coming to America consisted of about two years of market strategy, working with consultants and gastronomy,” Varthanan said. “I am excited about facing the challenges and possibilities and expanding to the U.S.”

Varthanan moved to Germany from India in 1999 to study engineering. He later earned his MBA, followed by eight years working in management consulting. However, as a student, he worked at many Mexican restaurants in between study sessions. According to Varthanan, his life shifted after his daughter was born, and rather than traveling and pursuing consulting, Varthanan veered into gastronomy, which led to the opening of Azteca Mexicana in Germany.

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An upscale Mexican restaurant called Boga Mexicana is moving into the space formerly occupied by The Packhouse. CharlotteFive archives

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Since then, Varthanan said customers were often asking when he was going to expand his restaurant concept to the U.S.

“I was asking American clients about this idea for over a year — asking them where they thought this concept would do well in the U.S. — and many of them were telling me North Carolina,” Varthanan said. “I decided to come to Charlotte because it is a big city, but is very spread out. After research, I saw that Charlotte was ideal.”

A team from the U.S. will travel to Germany in mid-November to finalize the menu.

Boga Mexicana

500 E. Morehead St. #150-A

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