New Baja-style restaurant

By Joshua Wolonowski |

Mark Garrison, ex-bartender at Tradewinds, is now the owner of Madre’s Restaurant located on 8 Aviles Street.

“I have always wanted to have my own place,” Mark said, as he explained how he got to this point in his life. “I love Tradewinds, along with St. Augustine and its nostalgic feeling.”

Growing up in San Diego, Mark and his friends used to surf in Baja and eat at the nearby taco stands. As a bartender at Tradewinds for the past 12 years, Mark has decided that what St. Augustine needs is a Baja hangout. He hopes to bring a slice of the West coast life to those of us here on the East coast.
“I wanted to pass this on to the people of Florida,” Mark said.

The dishes on the menu at Madre’s are typical of those found at the taco stands Mark went to as a teenager. They are all authentic recipes with a flare.

“I put a bit of myself into every one of my dishes,” Mark said.

Along with the Baja cuisine, Mark has taken on making pies. The pies are something he started making since relocating here to Florida. He hopes to integrate the Baja-style cuisine with his Florida desserts.

Marks wife, Silvia, loves the fact that her husband is out of Tradewinds and finally doing his own thing.
“All the kids and the family are getting involved, it is bringing us closer together,” Silvia said. “We have given up a lot to get to this next step.”

In hopes to fill the late night void of food services here in St. Augustine, Mark eventually would like to keep Madre’s open until 2 a.m.

“The food is great and it fills a void that I haven’t seen here in St. Augustine,” Flagler College student Steve Monette said. “I can’t wait until Madre’s starts staying open until 2 a.m. I will be its best customer.”

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