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COLUMBIA – A new Mexican restaurant from the team behind Saluda’s promises to bring a “hip, upscale” atmosphere to Five Points.

Arroyo, which promises “good vibes” and “better tacos” on its website, will be located between Five Points staples Pawley’s Front Porch and Eddie’s Calzones at 819 Harden Street. The menu will feature familiar Mexican specialties, twists on classic dishes and a full-service tequila bar.

“We think we can do it in a way that will hopefully bring out fresh and vibrant flavors and put a new twist on things,” said Steve Cook, owner of Saluda’s and Arroyo.

While the team’s previous restaurant, Saluda’s, is known for its “Southern cuisine with a continental flair,” Cook said he and Saluda’s general manager Andrew Thompson had been thinking about expanding their horizons since last fall.

“We didn’t want to open a restaurant with the same upscale level of service and cuisine as Saluda’s,” he said. “But we wanted to make sure that everything we did was of the highest quality, even though it was a more casual restaurant.”

According to Cook, Mexican cuisine was a perfect fit for their emerging concept.

“Mexican food is so accessible,” Cook said. “If you want something heavier, you can have enchiladas, and I can have a margarita and some chips and salsa, and we’ll still eat together.”

Arroyo’s team hopes to open the restaurant’s doors at the beginning of back-to-school season, around August, to introduce families and students alike to the “Tulum-style” interior and extensive bar program.