SKOWHEGAN — Skowhegan’s newest restaurant is off to a hot start.

The parking lot at La Fogata Mexican Restaurant has been full just about every day since the restaurant opened about two weeks ago. Some customers have waited up to an hour for a table at the Skowhegan area’s only Mexican restaurant, according to one of the restaurant’s owners.

“We’ve been busy every day,” said Luis Ferro, who opened the restaurant at 60 Waterville Road with four business partners.

Offering enchiladas, fajitas, burritos and much more, the menu includes a mix of Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican dishes, said Ferro, who is originally from Mexico.

Some of Ferro’s partners own another Mexican restaurant in Augusta. But this is the first for Ferro, who has lived in Maine for six years, the last two in Clinton.

Ferro said he and his partners chose Skowhegan for the new venture because it is close to his Clinton home. The location on Waterville Road, numbered as U.S. Route 201, is also a high-traffic area, Ferro said.


“We saw this one available, and we didn’t think twice,” he said.

Carlos Antonio prepares taquitos ahogados Thursday during his shift at La Fogata Mexican Restaurant in Skowhegan. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

The restaurant owners are leasing the building, with the option to buy it. The property is owned by Sotirios Gudis, of Waterville, according to a liquor license application filed with the town of Skowhegan.

Before it was La Fogata, the building was occupied by Flavour’s of India, an Indian restaurant that opened in early 2023 and closed within the year. Before that, it was Hero’s pizza shop, which closed at the location in 2022, a few months after a car crashed into the building.

Ferro and his team moved into the space in February and worked to renovate it from floor to ceiling. From painting and tile work to re-doing the bathrooms and ceilings, the four-month renovation transformed the space, according to Ferro.

“It was hard,” Ferro said. “We’ve been working way, way too hard. It’s worth it, I guess. It looks way different than it used to.”

A bar was added during the renovation process, which was included in plans filed with the town. In total, the space can seat 65 diners, Ferro said.


Right now, La Fogata employs four servers and six back-of-house workers, according to Ferro. He said he has had to bring on more staff than expected because of how busy the first two weeks have been.

The restaurant is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Plans are to close only on a few holidays each year, Ferro said.

Ferro said the busiest days at the restaurant so far have felt like a party. Feedback from customers has been positive, Ferro said, which is confirmed by dozens of comments on social media.

“Really good comments, to be honest,” Ferro said. “I would say 99% of the comments have been good.”

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