A new Mexican restaurant is set to be served up in the new year on the west side of downtown Westport, after the Planning and Zoning Commission's recent unanimous approval of the site plan for the eatery.

Bar Taco -- a chain with restaurants in Stamford, West Hartford and Port Chester, N.Y. -- will open in an approximately 3,700-square-foot space in 20 Wilton Road on the west bank of the Saugatuck River. The restaurant will occupy the building's first floor and also feature an outdoor eating area. The building's second floor will be used as office space.

"This application is another part of the effort by this property owner to create a vibrant downtown presence on the west bank of the river," said Bill Fitzpatrick, a lawyer for the owners of 20 Wilton Road. "Bar Taco is an exciting, casual restaurant that addresses the needs of families, as well as adults."

Twenty Wilton Road belongs to a group of buildings on the west bank of the Saugatuck River owned by the Norwalk-based commercial real estate firm Greenfield Partners. National Hall, a red-brick Italianate building at 2-8 Post Road West, is the cornerstone of the complex. Greenfield Partners is redeveloping National Hall into an office center, which will serve as the new Greenfield corporate headquarters. National Hall is scheduled to open for office use during the second half of 2013.

The Peter Coppola hair salon formerly occupied 20 Wilton Road before relocating in 2010 to Post Road East.

Bar Taco will be the second restaurant to open in the National Hall complex. It will join Moja, a restaurant featuring Japanese and South American cuisine, which opened earlier in December at 12 Wilton Road. At 6 Wilton Road, a third dining establishment is slated to open in the National Hall area in a building once used as a firehouse.

On the other side of Wilton Road, construction is under way on a third-level addition to a parking structure that serves Greenfield's west-side buildings. The expansion will increase the parking facility's capacity from 97 to 133 spaces.

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