HELLERTOWN, Pa. — A new full-service restaurant is set to spice up the Lehigh Valley’s dining scene with unique, made-from-scratch Mexican dishes, signature spirits and cocktails, and a vibrant atmosphere.

La Maya Mexican Comfort, offering upscale Mexican comfort cuisine, is expected to open in early May at 650 Main St. in Hellertown, co-owner CJ Moyer said.

La Maya

Pictured is a conceptual image of La Maya Mexican Comfort, a restaurant offering upscale Mexican comfort cuisine, opening soon at 650 Main St. in Hellertown. 

The restaurant, with seating for approximately 50 diners, will occupy a renovated space that previously housed The Vibe Nutrition, a business offering nutritional shakes, clean-energy drinks, smoothie bowls and more, which closed in July.

Moyer is partnering with Rogelio Romero, a restaurant industry veteran who opened another Mexican dining establishment, El Charro del Rio in Milford, New Jersey, about four years ago and was previously a partner at LU Taqueria in downtown Bethlehem.

Moyer is also no stranger to the hospitality scene, operating the two-year-old Presley’s Cocktail Bar, a mobile cocktail bar featuring professional mixologists and tailored experiences for events.

At La Maya, Moyer and Romero plan to offer a curated menu of Mexican specialties, including appetizers and shareables such as chorizo fundido (melted blend of cheeses with pork chorizo, tomatillo salsa cruda and fresh tortillas), guacamole Maya (traditional guacamole with green apple, Birchrun Hills blue cheese, smoked almonds, pickled red onions and mint), ostras horneadas (baked oysters with smoked pork belly, tortilla crumbs, Tsar’s salmon and Fresno pepper jam mignonette) and callos tostado (sea scallops with crispy shallots, yuzu avocado mayo and salsa macha).

La Maya Mexican Comfort

La Maya Mexican Comfort is coming soon to 650 Main St. in Hellertown. 

Entrees, starting at $23, will include garlic shrimp fideo (Jumbo gulf white shrimp with toasted noodles, cherry tomatoes, pickled morita chiles, parsley and lime), chamorro carnitas (braised pork shank with pickled jalapenos, salsa verde, salsa habanero and tortillas) and chicken and waffles (poblano waffles with crispy boneless chicken thigh, Birchrun Hills habanero ranch sauce, watercress and pico de gallo).

Moyer labels the carne tempiquena – a skirt steak marinated in the restaurant’s signature agave spirit and featuring scallions, shishito peppers, crispy cheese roll and morita broth – as a highlight.

“We’re also doing a grilled bronzino, which will be cut open in half with two different sauces on each,” Moyer added.

Other food menu highlights will include a variety of soups, salads and enchiladas.

Moyer and Romero are looking to source ingredients locally as much as possible, including fresh produce from local farms and high-quality meats from a local meat market.

La Maya

Pictured is a conceptual image of La Maya Mexican Comfort, a restaurant offering upscale Mexican comfort cuisine, opening soon at 650 Main St. in Hellertown. 

Customers also will be able to choose sides such as corn ribs with chipotle mayo, queso fresco, lime and chile piquin; Brussels sprouts with spiced agave vinaigrette, pepitas and pickled Fresnos; and roasted sweet potatoes with Requeson, macha salsa and cashew cream.

“Mexican comfort intertwines with the regions soul — Tulum’s zest and Cancun’s allure,” a description on the restaurant’s website reads. “This isn’t your typical Mexican cuisine; it’s a vibrant, rustic canvas bursting with authentic flavors, a culinary revelation that redefines tradition with every bite.”

La Maya will partner with Lehigh Valley-based County Seat Spirits to offer unique and flavorful cocktails made with County Seat products, including signature agave spirits.

The full bar also will feature other Pennsylvania-produced craft beverages, including beer, wine and spirits, Moyer said.

“We’re extremely excited to be working with the team at La Maya,” said Anthony Brichta, CEO of County Seats Spirits.

“Everybody knows Rogelio for his amazing food and restaurant work, including his time at LU Taqueria, and everybody knows Presley’s Mobile Cocktail Bar as one of the premier cocktail experiences in the region. So, we’re extremely excited to be working with them and getting County Seat products out to new customers in a new location and collaborating with their team on some interesting spirits and concepts.”

La Maya

Pictured is a conceptual image of La Maya Mexican Comfort, a restaurant offering upscale Mexican comfort cuisine, opening soon at 650 Main St. in Hellertown. 

The partners are overhauling much of the space, with major work including the installation of all new kitchen equipment and the demolition of a wall to create more of an open-concept dining area.

Seating will include a mix of custom banquettes and upholstered chairs, with a VIP “Queen’s Table” – accommodating 6-8 guests – situated in a secluded area in the back of the dining room, Moyer said.

Aesthetic highlights will include an assortment of live plants, Mexican green tiles adorning the bar and back-bar area, modern pendant and sconce lighting, a wall mural – depicting colorful shapes and designs – in the bar area, enlarged images of famed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in the dining room and a variety of new flooring that includes hardwood, Mexican terra cotta and hand-painted tiles.

The space also will feature rustic flairs such as a custom dark walnut bartop, reclaimed wooden barn beams in the ceiling and a soothing fragrance of burning palo santo wood from Mexico.

“We’re trying to bring a little bit more of a metropolitan lifestyle to the Lehigh Valley by expressing our talents in the cuisine and cocktail aspects, and also by giving people an atmosphere where they want to go out to dine,” Moyer said.

“There are a lot of really great restaurants in the area, but we want to bring something fresh and different. And I truly think we’re doing that through our interior design and artistic capabilities within the restaurant, as well as our artistic components in the food and cocktail programs that we’re debuting.”

La Maya

Pictured is a conceptual image of La Maya Mexican Comfort, a restaurant offering upscale Mexican comfort cuisine, opening soon at 650 Main St. in Hellertown. 

La Maya, which also will feature a few outdoor tables under a new orange awning, will open for dinner service only initially.

Saturday and Sunday brunch service is expected to debut within the first three months of opening, and lunch service could be introduced later if management sees a demand from the community, Moyer said.

To start, the restaurant would operate Tuesday through Sunday, opening at 4 p.m. most days and closing at 11 p.m. or midnight. Happy hour food and drink specials also will be offered.

“Our kitchen will be staying open later than most kitchens in the area,” Moyer said. “When it gets much later, around an hour before close, we may just offer a late-night menu with bar snacks.”

Moyer and Romero have already hired La Maya’s general manager and executive chef and are in the process of hiring remaining staff members.

They are hopeful that renovations will be complete by late April, allowing the restaurant to open for Cinco de Mayo. If that’s possible, the restaurant would “host a mariachi band and go all out,” Moyer said.

“We’re super excited, and we know the community’s pumped as well,” Moyer said. “Everybody’s been super supportive.”

For the latest La Maya updates and promotions, including sneak peeks of menu items and first access to dinner reservations, individuals can sign up for the restaurant’s newsletter on the business’ website, lamayarestaurant.com. 

Individuals can also follow La Maya’s Instagram page for updates.