La Casa Maya, Ames’ newest authentic Mexican restaurant, officially open for business

Steady construction work has finally paid off for the owners of a brand-new local restaurant featuring authentic Mexican food, as the central Ames eatery opened its doors for business on Tuesday.

According to General Manager Felipe Hernandez, La Casa Maya, located adjacent to Culver’s in Ames, is now serving people on a somewhat limited basis, but will continue to increase its functionality as time progresses. The current layout in place includes both call-in takeout and indoor seating, but more is soon to come. “We are waiting for approval of our alcohol license,” Hernandez explained. “[The City of Ames] has a meeting today, and so we don’t know if it will be approved just yet.”

In addition to the pending approval of the restaurant’s liquor license, which will open up a full-service bar to customers, outdoor seating is soon to be added by the Hernandez family, which hopes will encourage people to give their food and drinks a try. Still, Hernandez emphasized that staff will continue to take seriously the threat of exposure to COVID-19, which continues to take its toll on the state of Iowa and the U.S. as a whole. “We’re keeping everyone safe by wearing masks,” he noted. “And we’re also offering curbside pickup right now.” The restaurant’s website indicates that the store will soon include online ordering as well.

Hernandez explained that the family’s success with the restaurant’s sister store south of Des Moines helped propel them to open a location in Story County. “We have a store [El Maya Mexican Restaurant] in Norwalk,” he said. “And we just really think Ames is a good community.”

Workers labored away at the revitalization of the building, which had previously been home to The Other Place restaurant, for weeks on end. Hernandez just hopes people will give the new restaurant a chance, and he is confident that patrons will not leave disappointed. “We worked on the place for about three months,” he relayed. “So, come give it a try. We have really, really good food. And we’re going to have really good margaritas, hopefully here soon.”

The store’s website notes that the store is also available for private events, including weddings, business lunches, and cocktail receptions.

Hernandez indicated that the restaurant’s current hours of operation are as follows: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The new location is situated at 631 Lincoln Way in Ames. Those interested in job openings may contact the store directly at 515-233-7179. For more information on the restaurant, including menu options, visit La Casa Maya’s official website,, or like the store on Facebook.

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