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Veteran in food industry to bring Spanish flavors to Cumming City Center with new tapas restaurant
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Mariano Garcia stands in the Cumming City Center in front of what will soon be Santa Maria, his new tapas restaurant that will serve Spanish and Latin American inspired dishes. Photo courtesy of Crystal Ledford.

A veteran chef and restaurateur is bringing Spanish and Latin American flavors to the Cumming City Center with a new tapas restaurant.

Owner Mariano Garcia said the new restaurant, Santa Maria, will serve bold and creative tapas dishes and beverages.

“It takes a lot of hard work to get this place cooking, and we’re excited to share our unique cuisine with the Cumming community,” Garcia said.

The owner currently has ties to Fuego Tortilla in Marietta and Fuego Mexican and Seafood Restaurant in Senoia. He has been in the restaurant business for 12 years, taking on design, menu development, marketing and advertising and more.

Garcia said his passion for food is what has kept him in restaurants for so long.

“That passion will definitely guide me and my team at Santa Maria in the Cumming City Center,” Garcia said. “This restaurant will be influenced by Spanish and Latin American recipes, serving a mix of traditional Spanish dishes such as cured meats, paella, croquettes, queso, and more.”

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Mariano Garcia signs a lease for a space in the Cumming City Center where the veteran chef plans to open his new restaurant, Santa Maria. Photo courtesy of Crystal Ledford.

The menu will have a heavy focus on seafood dishes like ceviche and Tulum, a Spanish dish with fish and scallops. Other menu items will include Spanish tapas-style omelets made with  potatoes and molletts, tapas-style toast similar to Italian bruschetta, with a variety of toppings like cheese and fresh fish.

And it wouldn’t be tapas without a selection of unique and tasty beverages.

“We’ll have a strong focus on wines, tequila and mezcal,” Garcia said. “We’ll also offer plenty of fresh cocktails with all the ingredients made completely from scratch. We use no pre-made mixes or processed ingredients.”

Garcia is happy to be expanding his culinary footprint by creating a tapas bar and is confident that being a part of the City Center will contribute to the success of Santa Maria.

“Our mission is to give customers a place to celebrate life’s social moments by offering the best food, service and ambience,” he said. “We aim to provide a unique and relaxing dining experience. We feel confident that experience will be welcomed by this community, and Santa Maria will quickly become a vital part of the Cumming City Center.”