Oaxaca Margarita Bar and Restaurant seeks to create a fun atmosphere


EDWARDSVILLE — Oaxaca Margarita Bar & Restaurant will open Monday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Alejandra Perez and her husband Rolando Juarez teamed up with another family member, Dagoberto Garcia, to open the bar and restaurant, which is located at 6185 Bennett Dr., Suite D right next to the Southern Illinois University campus. -Edwardsville and next to the new 1818 Chophouse location.

Perez, having moved here during her college years, graduated from Edwardsville High School in 2012 and wanted to stay in the area due to the quality of the school district.

Perez, Juarez and Garcia and their families are from Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico.

The Clever was invited to take a tour of the bar and restaurant ahead of the official opening date and experience what Oaxaca brings to the table, literally.

As you walk through the door, you notice the bright, vibrant colors and handmade artwork around the bar and restaurant.

“We want to make it a fun atmosphere,” Perez said. “I feel like in Edwardsville we need a happy place.”

With the primary focus being margaritas, Oaxaca boasts of being the premier margarita bar in southern Illinois and the metro area.

Instead of using the traditional tequila seen in bars, Oaxaca uses mezcal. Although alcoholic beverages come from the same plant, mezcal has a strong smoky flavor and an alcohol content of around 55%, compared to 40% for tequila.

On the distinctly designed and colorful menus, Oaxaca offers 20 specialty margaritas and in total, has over 50 different flavors. Each week, a new flavor will be chosen as the dish of the week.

The bar can accommodate approximately 40 people and the restaurant as a whole can accommodate an additional 100 people. A terrace should be added in the coming months as spring approaches. The patio is expected to accommodate 20 additional tables and live music, with a DJ on Thursday nights.

“We’re really excited,” Juarez said.

Perez added: “We have been planning this for a long time. We both grew up here and want to give Edwardsville something fun. We are truly grateful to everyone who helped make this happen.

Since most Mexican restaurants in the area use more dishes from northern Mexico, Oaxaca, being a southern state, will have a mix of tex-mex dishes, with authentic Oaxacan dishes, including Tlayudas, which are a large, thin corn tortilla coated in black beans, topped with cabbage, quesillo (Oaxaca cheese) and homemade salsa, with a choice of grilled chicken or grilled steak. A crispy finish is achieved by toasting over an open flame.

Another authentic Oaxacan dish to serve is mole enchiladas, which are three shredded chicken enchiladas with traditional Oaxaqueno mole, cream cheese, sour cream, onions, and served with rice and beans. Mole is Mexico’s national dish, and the states of Oaxaca are considered the best place to get the dish.

The chef and cooks are from Oaxaca and the rest of the restaurant employees and servers are SIUE students. Perez saw this as a way to give more jobs to local students for an opportunity to gain experience.

After six months of construction and planning, Oaxaca will open on Monday. Bar and restaurant hours are Sunday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information, visit https://oaxacamargaritabar.com.


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