Los Mezcales restaurant well-received by community
Los Mezcales authentic Mexican restaurant, opened quietly on Dec. 22, 2013, at 3340 E. Main St. in Merrill. But, the community had been closely watching with much anticipation and the word got out quickly that the doors were open. Business has been good ever since.
“We’re becoming part of the community and establishing ourselves here,” said Los Mezcales manager Luis Melendez. “We see new faces every day and we have a lot of good regular customers already.”
Los Mezcales is doing excellent business in Merrill, Melendez noted. Most of the patrons are from the Merrill area, with others coming from surrounding communities.
Los Mezcales is the sixth location in a chain of authentic Mexican restaurants owned by Luis’ brothers-in-law, Fred Juan and Victor Ceron. Juan and Ceron opened their first El Mezcal restaurant in Marshfield in 2001. The business has expanded to include locations in Rib Mountain, Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point and most recently Minocqua. While their wives’ (Luis’ sisters) family has a background in the restaurant business, Juan worked in electronics and Ceron worked in a flower shop prior to opening their first restaurant.
Through customer familiarity with the nearby El Mezcal locations, the new restaurant in Merrill – named for the plural form of El Mezcal – had a following before it even opened.
Los Mezcales shares the same menu as the El Mezcal restaurants, based on authentic, made from scratch Mexican cuisine, with specialty burgers and sandwiches also offered. Luis is proud of the way the Merrill kitchen staff has come together to execute the chain’s signature dishes. Fast and friendly service is another priority at Los Mezcales.
“We’re proud of the food and the service that we give,” he said
The restaurant, built last summer, features a bar, party room and seating for about 150 patrons. Luis said customers are enjoying the fun atmosphere, free shots of tequila, complimentary chips and tasty margaritas. The party room has seen a lot of use already, with some groups making it their usual meeting spot.
Plans for this summer include construction of an outdoor patio for open-air dining and socializing.
In 2012, Merrill Mayor Bill Bialecki put the El Mezcal owners in touch with Gary and Mary Schwartz, whose Gateway North LLC owned a piece of property ready for development between the AmericInn Lodge & Suites and Pine Ridge Mobil on Hwy 64 East in Merrill. Gary said the site was planned to be a restaurant since Gateway North LLC built the AmericInn in 2001.
Gateway North LLC built the restaurant, which is leased to Los Mezcales. Gary Schwartz said he’s pleased with the way the community has embraced Los Mezcales.
“There has been phenomenal acceptance from the community,” Schwartz said.