Esperanza Restaurante opened Thursday at 180 Battery St. in Burlington, the former home of Mexican restaurant Madera's. The owners of Madera's partnered with longtime cook Gerber Rodriguez and Cynthia Nabalitan to open Esperanza.

Esperanza means hope in Spanish and is Rodriguez's mother's name. Rodriguez left El Salvador to find a better life in the U.S., and Nabalitan is from the Philippines. Together they plan to offer fusion cuisine from their home countries.

"They will be offering our most popular Mexican dishes along with traditional dishes from El Salvador and the Philippines for a truly unique and authentic mixture of Spanish cuisines," said Jim Wood, owner of the now-closed Madera's.

The hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. For more info visit www.facebook.com/EsperanzaVermont.

PHOTO: MICHAEL CHOW, GNS FILE

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