For 4 1/2 years, Delilah Ramirez was a receptionist in a doctor’s office. But she wasn’t happy.
“I just wanted to get into something new,” said Ramirez, 38. “I was thinking about my future.”
That future starts Thursday at 8 a.m. when she opens a new Mexican seafood restaurant at 23 South Dixie Highway.
“I’m feeling a little bit of everything right now,” she said. ‘“Excitement, nervousness and hoping everything is going to go well.”
The new, 1,100-square-foot restaurant is called Mariscos el Oceano, and will sell oysters, shrimps, cocktails, tacos and tostadas. Ramirez said she’s expecting about 100 customers.
“Maybe more,” she said.
Ramirez said she used $70,000 of her family savings to open the restaurant. “That’s a lot for us,” she said.
Ramirez declined to discuss her lease, but Ariana Peters, a managing partner at Peters Development, the company that owns the site, said she signed a two-year deal. “The space became available after being occupied for the last 15 years with another restaurant,” Peters said. “This restaurant is a different concept than what we have in our array of properties.”
The sit-down restaurant has an ocean theme and is all blue inside. “We have two different types of blue and have paintings on the wall,” Ramirez said.
Hours will be from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The restaurant will be closed on Mondays.
“It’s close to the beach, it’s downtown and there’s a lot of movement,” she said of the restaurant’s location.
Ramirez, who lives in West Palm Beach, said it took about six months for her to open the site, and the first-time entrepreneur knew she had a lot to learn. “It was a hassle, a bunch of permits and applications, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy,” she said. “When you don’t know anything, you have to learn the ropes along the way.”
The eatery has five part-time employees and her four children helping out. “It’s been kind of hard for our kids since we’ve been so (busy) here,” she said.
Ramirez’s husband of 20 years will also pitch in. “He runs his own construction business, so he’ll help when he can,” she said.
Lake Worth has its share of challenges, but Ramirez said she’s heard nothing but good things about the area. “It’s a good community, everyone is nice and friendly and it’s a good place to have a business,” she said.