Jose Olveras has had some success with San Jose’s Original Mexican Restaurant in Clermont, so when patrons from north Lake County suggested he try his luck in Leesburg, he listened.

San Jose's opened its doors two weeks ago in the Southside Shopping Plaza in Leesburg after nearly a year’s worth of renovations to the once dark location. Olveros, whom the restaurant is named after, transferred from the Clermont location to open the fourth restaurant of the chain. The others are in Ocoee and Altamonte Springs.

“A lot of people from this area would visit my restaurant in Clermont and tell me I should open one here,” Olveros said. “When this location became available, we decided it was time to bring some good, authentic Mexican food to Leesburg.”

Olveros runs the restaurant with his brother, who he has worked closely with for the past 17 years. Together, they were able to make some much-needed alterations, including new seating, a fresh coat of paint, new bar and lounge area, new restrooms and an updated kitchen.

San Jose's offers all the usual fare you expect to find at a Mexican restaurant, including unlimited chips and salsa, tacos, enchiladas, burritos and fajitas, which are also the most popular dishes. However, the restaurant offers some new choices, including Huevos con Chorizo – two scrambled eggs with chorizo – a type of pork sausage served with tortillas, rice and refried beans for $8.49.

San Jose's also offers torta, a popular Mexican sandwich on torta bread with mayonnaise, a spread of refried beans, queso fresco, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and onions, with a side of fries for $8.99. On the torta, you have your choice of carne asada, grilled chicken, carnitas, ground beef, shredded chicken, tinga, al Pastor or veggie.

Lunch specials are served from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and range from $7.99 to $10.99.

Dinner offers a broad menu, including the California burrito, a 12-inch flour tortilla burrito filled with a choice of meat or veggie, rice, beans, lettuce, sour cream, cheese, pico de gallo and guacamole, then smothered in cheese for $12.29.

“We have loved everything here,” customers Margaret Ferns and Debby VanTiem said. “It’s our first time here and our friend’s second time here this week. The new atmosphere is great, our waiter was nice and the food was excellent. We highly recommend the fried ice cream for dessert.”

House specialties include the quesadilla rellena, tostadas New Mexico, Hawaiian nachos and chilaquiles. San Jose’s also offers a variety of soups, salads and dips to complement the unlimited chips.

The grand opening celebration will be Jan. 16 to 18 and will feature half-price entrees and a mariachi band from 5 to 7 p.m. T-shirts can be purchased for $20, and patrons who wear the shirts on Tuesdays will receive half-price entrees.

San Jose’s, 1341 S. 14th St. in Leesburg, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. For information, call 352-805-4174 or go to www.sanjosesoriginal.com.