Four years in, Felix Arellano’s Viva Las Arepas is still as busy as ever, but two of its downtown expansion ventures have shuttered on Las Vegas Boulevard.
A short walk north from Viva Las Arepas, Pepito Shack debuted in September of last year, serving traditional Mexican and Venezuelan street food in the small outdoor space once occupied by The Goodwich.
Sitting in the parking lot of legendary dive bar Dino’s, the "gourmet burgers & dogs" have been replaced by Puerto Rico Express, open daily from 11 a.m to 10 p.m and midnight on Friday and Saturday. On the new menu, pressed sandwiches like the $6.95 Cubano, steak or roasted pork, "specials" of the shack like $6.95 chicken fricassee, plus grilled pork chops, fried pork chunks, mofongo, maduros and rice and beans.
Right next door to Viva Las Arepas, its gelato store Art of Flavors has also recently shuttered. The space is reportedly being turned into another Latin-infused venture, Lokuras Botanas Mexicanas, which has been serving snacks like shaved ice, frozen desserts and tostilocos in Chinatown since June 2016.
Viva las Arepas expanded to its second local outpost near the intersection of Charleston Boulevard and Rainbow Boulevard late last year.
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