SOUTHINGTON — When individuals walk into La Catrina Restaurant, they encounter creative decorations, including a backdrop with a payphone and a sign that reads “I didn’t call you, tequila did.”
The space is also complemented by orange and yellow walls, lots of green plants, items that reflect Mexican culture, a large bar in the center and light wood floors and tables.
La Catrina, located at 1169 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, is the newest dining spot in town. Although they’ve had a soft opening during the past week, the grand opening of the restaurant will be on Tuesday. On the same day, the Southington Chamber of Commerce holds a ribbon cutting ceremony and networking event at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are required for the chamber event.
The restaurant is owned by Jessica Macary, her husband Tommy Macary and her parents Oscar and Maria Trujillo.
The family worked for months to get the space renovated and even the dining tables were made by the owners.
La Catrina serves Mexican food and drinks including Margaritas. Jessica Macary pridefully said they have a “special” margaritas recipe.
Macary said she also wanted to bring a “piece of home” to the restaurant so she brought handmade clay cups that they use to serve cantaritos, a popular Mexican drink.
Macary said her parents will be in charge of the kitchen, making recipes passed down from their parents and grandparents.
For Macary, adding a contemporary touch to some of the dishes was important, she said. That’s why they will be using traditional Mexican food in some unusual ways. For example, they are offering a dish where avocado is combined with pico de gallo and served over pork cracklings.
She explained all of the food is made from scratch, even chorizo.
Opening the restaurant was a common interest for the family. The Trujillos said the family came to the U.S. from Mexico in 1998 looking for the American dream, something they feel they have now accomplished with the new business and the success of their children.
“We have always wanted to do this,” Macary said.
She recalled that when she was a little girl and still living in Mexico, she would go to work with her grandmother, who had a small business. She used to observe her grandmother sell goods and interact with customers.
“It really came embedded in my blood to want the same, to one day have something of my own,” she said.
She said her dad also grew up in a family business with his father.
Tommy Macary serves in the Army and is currently deployed in Africa.
Via video call, he said he has “the best of both worlds” by being able to be a business owner and offer good food.
“Who doesn’t enjoy good food and good company?” he said. “And when you get to put those things together and share it with everybody who walks through these doors, it’s amazing,” he said.
He said he is looking forward to partnering with other businesses in town to hold fundraising events.
The restaurant’s winter hours are Sundays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursdays 2 to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
La Catrina can be found on Facebook as lacatrina_1169 and on Instagram as @lacatrina1169.
The restaurant can also be reached at 860-426-3939 or www.lacatrina.info.