Margarita’s Bar & Grill opens in West Duluth – Duluth News Tribune
DULUTH – Authentic Mexican cuisine is now available in West Duluth at
. Known as Mexico Lindo’s sister location in the Fitger’s complex, Margarita’s opened August 8 at 4602 Grand Ave. in the former location of GB Schneider & Co.
Margarita’s offers seating for nearly 130 people in the 4,600 square foot space. The dining room was recently renovated to include a Dia los Muertos mural, created by local artist Taylor Rose.
Owner Lorena Velez said Mexico Lindo and Margarita offer similar menu items to keep the food as traditional as possible in its heritage.
Originally from Ecuador, Velez moved to Mississippi 22 years ago as an international student. After high school, she stayed on to attend Mississippi College, and in 2003 she started working at a Mexican restaurant to pay for her tuition. With the support of her employer, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration and completed her master’s degree in 2008.
After moving to Minnesota in 2012, she started working at Mexico Lindo, where she learned various aspects of cooking. There she began to rework recipes without changing the essence of the food, she says. When the previous owner’s lease expired, Velez decided to buy Mexico Lindo in May 2020.
“And that’s how Mexico Lindo became my home,” Velez said. “This is my home. My restaurants aim to feel at home. I hope customers feel welcome and enjoy the food.”
On a typical day, Velez and the head chef sit between the kitchens of each restaurant, preparing sauces and meats to ensure food between locations tastes the same. Some of his favorite dishes are chiles rellenos, chimichangas and quesadillas.
“I love it, especially when I’m not very busy and when I have time to give it an extra touch,” Velez said.
Both of her parents were influential in her passion for serving traditional dishes, as everyone in her family loves to cook, Velez said. Her entire family is involved in the restaurant, including her husband from Jalisco, Mexico, and their three children.
“They are always with me. My eldest is 14 and she helps in front of the house as a host. My middle is 11 and likes to help with the preparation by cutting green peppers, and my little one is 4 and plays with it. cars on the ground,” Vélez said. “The kitchen is the center of families. We all gather around the kitchen, whether your home is big or small. Growing up, I was introduced to all kinds of meals. Mexico Lindo is more of a passion.”
The family’s decision to open a second restaurant was to test if their type of food was needed elsewhere in Duluth. Velez said she loves the cozy vibe of the Spirit Valley neighborhood.
“Margarita’s has been very well received by many locals. Instead of downtown traffic and construction, it’s a place they can just drive to. Customers have been pretty steady,” said Velez.
Margarita’s is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.