Roots Latin Grill has opened at 4721 W. Wabash in Springfield, and owner Luis Morales says the new restaurant will reflect his own Bolivian roots.

“The idea behind this restaurant is that Latin American food in Springfield is just Mexican food. I’m trying to get more of my background from South America and food from different countries. The menu will combine everything I’ve seen and tried and the places I’ve been,” explained Morales when he spoke to SBJ in June after announcing his plans.

The menu includes signature dishes from Brazil, Venezuela and Peru and even the bar features South American classics such as wines from Chile and brandy made from grapes, a Bolivian specialty.

Morales started working on the concept last year and originally planned to partner with a friend who already owns other restaurants in the area. However, he ultimately decided to move forward on his own and signed a lease for the space that formerly housed Gyros Stop.

The restaurant will serve dinner Monday through Thursday from 5-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturdays from 5-10 p.m.

However, the restaurant will not have televisions or slot machines, and Morales said he hopes diners will be able to focus on enjoying each other’s company and savoring their food.

“I want to focus on the roots we had, how we grew up and were taught to do things back then,” he said.

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