On Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, the popular contemporary American restaurant Hamilton’s opened the doors of its second location on Ogletree Road.
Owners George Spence and Jim Parker first opened the restaurant Tuco’s on Ogletree Road in 2015 after the first restaurant, Hamilton’s on Magnolia, was opened in 2009.
The popular Tex-Mex restaurant was the owners’ way of branching out to a new area and trying their hand at a different style of food. But in early 2018, they decided that Tuco’s wasn’t the restaurant they envisioned, so preparations were made to change the location into another Hamilton’s.
“Tuco’s did very well,” Said George Spence, “It just didn’t do what we wanted it to.”
“The Mexican style wasn’t second nature to us like the American style of Hamilton’s,” Spence said. “That’s why we decided to change the location into something we were more comfortable with.”
Now, three years after opening, the Tex-Mex restaurant has transitioned into the second location for Hamilton’s restaurant but features a few key differences.
Aside from differences in seating and some of the inner decor, the new Hamilton’s on Ogletree features one key difference from its Magnolia counterpart.
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“The kid’s menu is an actual menu,” Spence said. “At the original, there are just kids items. Now, there is a dedicated menu for kids to use.”
The new Ogletree Road location was decidedly changed to fit its environment. While the Magnolia location in the heart of downtown Auburn has a large selection of beers and alcohol on tap, the new location is more family focused.
“Hamilton’s on Ogletree is surrounded by neighborhoods and homes with families,” Spence said. “Tuco’s was a family restaurant. We wanted to keep the same families coming back.”
The new location will contain most of the original Hamilton’s menu with the addition of the kid’s menu. In the end, only one item from Tuco’s ended up making the transition to the updated menu.
“Some of us wanted to keep more of the menu,” Spence said. “But we decided to give the menu a clean slate.”
Between the new menu changes and the new location away from downtown, the goal was to keep the casual and relaxed atmosphere of the first Hamilton’s. They were aiming to make it more accessible to families that may not want to go to the downtown area.
As for the expansion of the Hamilton’s chain, Spence said he was always thinking about the future of the brand.
“In the future, there is the definite possibility of opening one or more Hamilton’s,” Spence said.
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