WATERSOUND — A local hangout recently added two new venues to its roster and a second location of another.
The Hub, a family-friendly South Walton destination, has expanded its options to include Macho Taco — the venue's first Mexican restaurant — and Jack & Diane's New Orleans Snowballs, which offers shaved ice.
According to Nicki Thomspon, spokeswoman of The Hub, CRUST at The Hub, a pizza oven of a few years, has also opened CRUST Po' Boys to serve breakfast sandwiches and pastries.
"The Hub is a one-stop for families and groups with something for everyone," Thomspon said. "We have a casual, fun, family-oriented atmosphere where guests can relax and spend the day."
Stephen Bucalo, owner and chef of Macho Taco, said that before opening the Mexican diner Feb. 15, he worked as The Hub's executive chef.
Last year, The Hub began subleasing some of its restaurants. With no Mexican cafés coming in, he decided to branch out.
Since opening his own establishment, Bucalo said he's seen amazing support from the community.
"I decided to change from a chef to a chef owner," he said. "It was about 20 years in the making that I've been cooking for other people, and I thought it was a great opportunity and a great area to kind of make home and plant my seed."
Also in the mix is Stanley and Jammie Chauvin, owners of the new Jack & Diane's New Orleans Snowballs.
Themed after the Big Easy, Jammie said their ingredients are bought from New Orleans for authenticity.
She added that her husband was born and raised in New Orleans, and moved to the Emerald Coast after they were married in January 2018.
"When he moved here, he noticed not many were doing authentic snowballs in the area," she said. "In New Orleans they are practically on every corner."
The establishment was named after John Cougar Melloncamp's song "Jack and Diane," a tune Jammie said has sentimental value for her and Stanley.
"We saw the opportunity at the right time in each of our lives and decided to take a chance," Jammie said. "The Hub is a fun and exciting place to play, eat and enjoy time with friends and family."