Popular Patchogue Mexican Restaurant Ruta Oaxaca Opening Two New Locations in Woodbury and Brooklyn

Authentic Mexican restaurant Ruta Oaxaca is planning to open two new locations in the coming months. One in Woodbury in the Maidstone 1845 spot and another in Brooklyn where The HiHi Room used to be.

Ruta Oaxaca is a journey. It’s also a destination. Two of them in fact. Soon to be four.

This fall, the popular Ruta Oaxaca Mexican restaurant that opened in Patchogue last year is expanding to a third location (the first is in Queens) at the Woodbury Town Plaza in the former Maidstone 1845 location.

The owners are also planning to open another in Brooklyn early next year.

But the journey isn’t just from one end of Long Island to the other, a trip through the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn to Nassau and Suffolk Counties. It’s a journey of two sets of brothers from a dream of restaurant ownership to reality and a culinary trek from Mexico City to Oaxaca.

Ruta Oaxaca Mexican restaurant table

“Ruta means en route,” explained co-owner Jose Castillo to LongIslandRestaurants.com during a phone interview recently. “It’s a journey with stops in different states and different towns tasting the best dishes along the way.”

Ruta Oaxaca, the name of the restaurant he owns with his brother Pedro, means en route to Oaxaca. Along with their two other co-owners brothers, Carlos and Filipe Arellano, the Castillos dreamt up their plans around 2020 but they didn’t let a little thing like a worldwide lockdown during a global pandemic stop them from pursuing them.

“We had a dream before the pandemic started,” said Castillo. “Then when it hit we were sitting in my house having a cup of coffee and we decided we had to go on with the dream we had in mind.”

That dream led to the opening of their first Ruta Oaxaca in Astoria, Queens. Then last year the owners traveled all the way out to Long Island to open the second in Patchogue to rave reviews.

Ruta Oaxaca exterior

The 2,300-sq-foot space they leased at 1025 Jericho Turnpike in Woodbury will be their third.

Walking into Ruta Oaxaca is like walking into a mini Mexico, according to Castillo and the atmosphere, smells and tastes should transport you to Oaxaca.

“One of the most magical cities in Mexico,” Castillo said.

In addition to the traditional authentic style Mexican menu they have come to be known for, the new Ruta Oaxaca will also feature a bar with over 110 tequilas and 75 different mezcals. Mezcal has skyrocketed in popularity recently. It’s a smokier type of liquor than tequila but made from the same agave root.

“It’s more artisanal,” explained Castillo. “It’s done by hand.”

Ruta Oaxaca is serving some of the rarest mezcals.

“So people can really pour and taste different kinds,” he said.

They picked the Woodbury location for a number of reasons.

“We feel like it’s an area that is trending and so much going on there,” said Castillo.

They also felt it was ripe for their concept of an upscale, sit down, authentic Mexican restaurant. The landlord at their new spot in Woodbury also happens to be the same as their Patchogue location.

“He loved what we did in Patchogue,” Castillo said.



Inside they will have seating for 64 people with an additional 4 at the bar. They have an outside patio with room for 26 more. They’re in the middle of a complete transformation of the space and expect to be open sometime in the middle of November.

Meanwhile, the owners are simultaneously planning their new Brooklyn spot expected to open in early January. Located at 138 Smith Street in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn they are replacing The HiHi Room there, which was a sit-down eatery serving an eclectic mix of food. This space is smaller with seating for 40 inside and 12 at the bar. The big draw at this location for the owners was an additional outdoor dining space for 40 patrons.

“It’s why we picked that spot,” Castillo said.

The duties of each set of brothers is split from the front and the rear of the house. Carlos and Filipe Arellano are their two chefs bringing specialties like their Mole Negro to the table. In addition to their work in restaurants in Mexico the brothers worked for 15 years at some well-known, high-end eateries on Long Island. Pedro and Jose Castillo manage the front of the restaurant with similar experience for over 30 years.

It’s not just the accumulated knowledge that contributes to their success though, according to Castillo.

“It’s the passion that we have to serve people,” he said.

📷  Ruta Oaxaca

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