“We’ve had this dream to start something on our own after working 15, 16 years in the service business,” Nunez Flores said. “This idea came to us because when my husband and I always wanted to go out to eat, have a drink or something, my kids couldn’t enjoy themselves where we had our children. So we wanted to come up with an idea where the parents can enjoy themselves and there’s games for the kids.”
Manuel Lopez, a community navigator for the Springfield Small Business Development Center (SBDC) who helped guide Nunez Flores, said the bar stems from the family restaurant business. The family owns Los Mariachis.
Nunez Flores’ brother, Armando Nunez, opened taco truck then brick-and-mortar location Chido’s Tacos with the help of the SBDC.
“They saw the perfect time to branch out and expand to their own families, and their dream is becoming reality,” Lopez said.
The Mango’s Lounge menu features traditional appetizers, or tapas, plus seven house specialty dishes, including chimichangas, tacos and flatbread pizzas. Wings, quesadillas, sandwiches and Santa Fe egg rolls also are on the menu.
It has separate cocktail and mocktail menus as well. Nunez Flores said the mocktail menu allows kids to be included.
Mango’s will adjust its current hours after the opening today, Nunez Flores said.
The building, which once housed Ryan’s buffet restaurant and Bay Breeze seafood restaurant, allows the Mango’s Lounge owners space for a large multi-sided bar, a game room and a stage for live music.
The renovated space includes brightly-colored wall decor inside and a mural on the outside with two hands and the words “Never Give Up” on it.
Lopez said the restaurant is a long time coming, and COVID-19 served as an eye-opener that they were never going to be “fully ready” to jump into the new endeavor. Finding the right location, finishing an extensive remodel and obtaining all the necessary permits took a lot of time, he said.
Nunez Flores said the soft openings have been successful, and she hopes people continue to support the business. She said she was nervous at first but is now excited to be fully open.
The SBDC helped Nunez Flores through the preparations and learning important business practices, and Lopez said he hopes the community supports the restaurant.
“I’m really very proud of them that they decided to branch out and seek out their own dream, and it’s finally becoming a reality so as much as the community can support them ... they have lived in the Springfield community for many years so they are part of the community,” Lopez said.