Mexican restaurant to open in former Wahlburgers space at Westfield Trumbull mall

Photo of Amanda Cuda

TRUMBULL — There are lots of places that offer Tex-Mex food, but authentic Mexican cuisine is a rarity in Connecticut, according to Gabriela Velazquez, one of the owners of Guacamole’s Mexican Cuisine.

Guacamole’s, which is set to open its third location at the Westfield Trumbull mall next month, will occupy the space left when Wahlburgers closed last year. The restaurant already has locations in Branford and at the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford.

When it opens, Guacamole’s will likely add a new set of flavors to the offerings at the mall, Velazquez said.

“We have authentic Mexican cuisine,” she said. “We want to bring in a little bit of everything from Mexico.”

Velazquez is especially proud of the restaurant’s selection of seafood dishes, including camarones calientes (sautéed shrimp butterflied in the shell and cooked in a spicy red sauce with roasted red chiles), a filete empanizado (breaded tilapia served with white rice, spring mix salad and avocado slices) and others.

Rina Bakalar, Trumbull’s director of economic and community development, said there was a lot of excitement about the new restaurant.

“We are happy to see this great new restaurant option coming to our mall to fill the former Wahlburger’s space,” she said. “A full-service Mexican restaurant fits nicely into the array of restaurants in Trumbull.”

Wahlburgers opened to much fanfare in 2017, as it was the first Connecticut location of the star-powered burger chain. The company is owned by the Wahlberg brothers — chef Paul Wahlberg and actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg — though the Trumbull location was run by a local franchisee.

But, in late 2020, a handwritten sign popped on the restaurant’s door stating that it was closed “until further notice.” Shortly thereafter, Bakalar confirmed that the restaurant likely would not return to the mall.

Velazquez said the old Wahlburgers spot was appealing to Guacamole’s, as the company has been having success with mall locations.

“We took a look at Trumbull and it has a lot of traffic. I think we’ll do pretty well there,” she said.

The Trumbull Guacamole’s is tentatively slated to open Jan. 15, and Velazquez said she’s already getting the feeling that people are eager to see what the restaurant has to offer.

“We’ve actually been in there cleaning up and we’ve had a lot of people asking us when we’re going to open,” she said.