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La Maya on Track to Open in Hellertown in July

La Maya Mexican Restaurant Hellertown

Business partners and friends CJ Moyer and Rogelio Romero plan to open the doors of La Maya in July. The Mexican restaurant and bar is a highly-anticipated addition to the downtown Hellertown dining scene.

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Two long-time friends are on track to launch an eagerly-anticipated Mexican restaurant in downtown Hellertown next month.

CJ Moyer and Rogelio Romero plan to open the doors of La Maya at 650 Main Street in July, pending the outcome of required final inspections of kitchen equipment.

We’re super close,” Moyer said. “I’ve been teasing everyone through e-mail and giving them full transparency at the look of the day-to-day of what we’re going through, decisions we’re making and allowing people to kind of have a back-end idea of what’s happening.”

In a June 5 email to the restaurant’s subscriber list, Moyer said a delay with the installation of a ventilation hood in the kitchen is one issue that has delayed the opening.

“To be transparent, our hood installation company has taken longer than expected, which is delaying our final kitchen sweep and health inspection,” he wrote. “Once we pass the health inspection, we can turn on the gas and start cooking. We anticipate it will take about a week to get our staff ready for service. While this is a quick turnaround, we don’t want to delay the process any further.”

The La Maya restaurant space was most recently occupied by The Vibe Nutrition, a meal replacement shake shop that closed last year. Prior to that it was home to a coffee shop, a vape shop and a jewelry store.

Moyer and Romero, who both live in Bethlehem, met each other about 15 years ago while working locally in the restaurant industry. The duo took over their new space in January and started renovating it in February.

I kind of have this knack to build a business, and he has a knack for the operations,” Moyer said. “He (Romero) introduced me to the place and the location. I walked the space with him and asked if he was interested in partnering with me. And that’s kind of how the relationship started. We had a ton of conversations, and it brewed into this beautiful, exciting journey.”

The duo are excited to put their unique spin on Mexican cuisine in the Valley. La Maya’s menu is the work of Chef Andre Meza of Washington, D.C., and will be executed by Chef Freddy Garcia.

“We have two executive chefs; it’s more of a collaboration between the two. It’s nice that we have this dual-executive execution,” Moyer added. We always had a deeper, bigger passion for the restaurant industry and wanted to do our own thing.”

“Rogelio ran two taquerias previously before this, and I run a company called Pressley’s Cocktail Bar,” he explained. “Ro took a look at the space and wanted to open up another taqueria.”

Moyer and Romero also provided a sneak peek at the menu La Maya will feature when it opens this summer.

Its shareables include La Maya guac, served with house-made chips, and there will be other Mexican classics on it such as nachos. But the menu will also feature intriguingly unique items such as baked oysters with smoked pork belly, tortilla crumbs, salmon caviar and fresno pepper jam.

As for the main dishes, entrees will include a staple of the South, chicken and waffles; a mouth-watering braised pork shank; and a tequila-marinated skirt steak.

“We’re really getting a little funky with our menu…we’re really getting groovy with our flavors, it’s going to be fun,” Moyer said.

The interior of the venue was designed by a mother-daughter duo, Gabrielle DeFrancesco and April Wilson.

“They are absolutely fantastic, and they really put a lot of hard work into the restaurant,” Moyer said of the design team. “The look and feel of the restaurant is going to be super unique to what the Lehigh Valley has to offer in general.”

La Maya will offer a full bar and Moyer and Romero are working on finding off-street parking solutions for the business, which is located in the heart of the borough’s downtown business district.

“We’re super excited to be involved in Hellertown,” Moyer said. “It’s a growing community.”

Area residents can subscribe to receive updates on the restaurant’s opening and the launch of its online reservation platform at, where a job application is also available. For further updates, follow La Maya on Instagram and Facebook.

A recent post on Instagram gives followers a chance to win a table for two at the restaurant’s soft opening.

La Maya Mexican Restaurant Hellertown

La Maya Mexican restaurant will open at 650 Main Street in Hellertown in July, owners CJ Moyer and Rogelio Romero confirmed. The restaurant will feature both indoor and outdoor seating, a full bar and a menu that includes both traditional and modern Mexican dishes.

La Maya Modern Mexican

The interior of La Maya has been outfitted with long banquette-style seating, wooden ceiling beams, framed wall art, a tile floor and other decorative elements to give the restaurant a modern Mexican-American atmosphere.

La Maya Modern Mexican

A full-size wall mural features photos of famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

La Maya Modern Mexican

The bar at La Maya will feature a green and mirror tile backsplash along with pendant lighting.

La Maya Modern Mexican

La Maya is located on the west side of Main Street, across from Wells Fargo, near the intersection of Main and Water streets in Hellertown. Owners Rogelio Romero and CJ Moyer plan to have outdoor dining available.


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Justin Carlucci

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