The orange paint on the former home of the Port Royal Pasta Co. is meant to catch the eye, says the owner of a Mexican restaurant slated to open there next month.
Vincent Aya is working on opening Agave at 1430 Ribaut Road in Port Royal by mid-February. The menu will be similar to his John's Island restaurant, Maria's Mexican Grill, which has been in business for about six years.
Plans for the new business have been in the works since October. The building's interior is being renovated, Aya said, and a sign will go up soon.
Daily operations will be handled by Aya's friends -- Juan Carlos and his wife, Princess. Carlos and Aya have worked in the restaurant business together for about nine years.
The Port Royal Pasta Co. closed in April. It was preceded by Mario's Restaurant and Pizzeria, Silvi's European Cafe, and Roosters. It was best known as the home of Joe's Spaghetti House.
Tentative hours for Agave are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Information: 843-379-0232, www.mariasmexgrill.com
In other changes about town:
- Tree trimming is under way in Beaufort and Port Royal and along roads owned by the state. The S.C. Department of Transportation is cutting back branches over roads, starting in Port Royal. SCDOT standards require 18-foot clearance over roads, but significant trees like older live oaks may have limbs as low as 14 feet above the road.
- The Lollipop Shop in downtown Beaufort is changing hands. Owner Cindy Jacobus is selling the business to Lundy Baker and his wife, Dianna. Lundy Baker is known around town as the "parking guy" because he manages downtown parking for Lanier Parking Solutions, which contracts with the city. Jacobus and her husband, Glenn, opened the business four years ago and ran it together until his death in 2010. Jacobus' last day is Thursday. Information: 843-379-POPS (7677).
- First Franklin Financial loan company has opened at 330 Robert Smalls Parkway, Suite 5, in the Cross Creek Shopping Center in Beaufort. The business held a ribbon-cutting Thursday. The company is part of a franchise based in Toccoa, Ga., and offers personal loans, mortgages and financing for household purchases. Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.