Mango's Grill, which has been located off Route 1 for eight years, is relocating about a mile down the road, into the space currently occupied by the India Gate Indian Cuisine restaurant, according to Jorge Molina, who owns Mango's with his cousin Ana Figueredo.
The pair has been looking for a new space for their restaurant for months, as their current lease at 600 Washington Blvd. ends this month just ahead of the planned demolition of the site — which also includes Irene's and the blue former American National Bank building — as part of a larger project to build a new Walgreens store there.
Those plans have been talked about for about two years, which has left the pair uncertain about their future, Molina said. But now the deadline has actually come.
"Things have been going really good, but it's time to go and we can't control that," Molina said.
"But we don't want to leave Laurel," he added. "We want to stay here. All our clientele is here."
Molina said he and Figueredo just reached a deal to move to the Boulevard Shops, at 14605 Baltimore Ave., which is the address of India Gate.
The owner of the Indian restaurant could not be reached for comment.
The owner of the building is listed as the Boulevard Shops Corp. in property records, but the mailing address is for First Allied Corp.
On its website, First Allied has a diagram of the Boulevard Shops that lists two vacancies, neither of which are for 14605. The diagram also lists India Gate as an existing tenant.
A woman who answered the phone at First Allied said no one was or would be made available to answer questions regarding the property.
Customers promise to find new spot
Molina said the entire process of hearing they would have to relocate and then finding the new location was "crazy," and that he's "nervous" about the move.
Finding the new location has helped calm him, though.
"We're very happy," he said. "Hopefully, everything will go well so we can open next month or (in) two months."
He hopes everyone who loves Mango's will find the new location.
Customers on a recent afternoon said they definitely will.
Amburr Reese and Liz Paul, both of Laurel, said they have loved Mango's for a long time.
"This is like, our 100th time here," Paul said.
"Definitely. The food, the enchiladas, are amazing. The customer service is always very friendly," Reese said.
Paul, who called the food "real authentic and fresh," said every time her family visits Laurel, she brings them to Mango's — and if she doesn't, they remind her to take them to the "hole-in-the-wall" restaurant.
Reese said Mango's size is part of its charm.
"From the outside, you wouldn't expect the quality of food and service that you get on the inside," she said.
Bryan Powell, of Upper Marlboro, who Molina identified as a regular, said he has been coming to Laurel specifically to go to Mango's for the last five or six years.
"The food, the flavor — really good food, man," he said of what brings him back, noting his large plate of carne asada, or grilled steak, was cleared entirely.
"Hopefully, he finds another location real quick," Powell said when he learned Molina had to relocate.