Instead of just one day of celebration, El Meson in West Carrollton has dedicated an entire week to celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
The week kicks off today with Margarita Mayhem from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Guests can celebrate with $18 margarita flights and $8 specialty margaritas. Festivities will continue on Thursday, May 4 featuring half of its famous flame broiled chicken with Aji and patatas bravas. The restaurant encourages guests to relax on their patio while they cook the rotisserie chicken.
Friday festivities will include live music by Velvet Crush Unplugged from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by a full band from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will also be dancing, margaritas, tacos, food trucks and much more all under a big tent in the restaurant’s parking lot. General admission tickets are available for $10. Standard dining will still be available in addition to a VIP experience.
Saturday, May 6 is Margarita Derby Day with more live music from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. from Classic Jam and Flash Top Secret from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to viewing the Kentucky Derby, guests can enjoy featured derby cocktails, margaritas and food trucks.
“We want El Meson to be the experience,” said Bill Castro, co-owner of El Meson. “Especially this year being 45 years of family business, three generations, five great-grandchildren. My parents will be there, which is first generation. They’re 88 and 87 and they don’t miss the opportunity to participate. That’s life, that’s celebration.”
El Meson’s history dates back to 1966 when NCR decided to bring the Castro family to its headquarters in Dayton. Castro explained his father, Herman, had worked as a computer tech instructor in South and Central America, where he was transferred every three years to different countries. The family ultimately stayed in the Dayton area, and in the 1970s, Herman and his wife, Gloria, bought what was then The Pizza Queen in West Carrollton. A few years later, they branched out from pizza and subs to Hispanic food on the weekends.
What started as a three table, one employee restaurant grew into 450 seats, five dining rooms, six food trucks, a wine and culinary tour with customers, Spanish immersion high school programs and much more, Castro explained.
He said he is proud of El Meson’s history and the story the restaurant tells.
“You could always have a future, but it’s your past that you have to be proud of,” Castro said.
Cinco de Mayo not only commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla, but it honors the entire Hispanic journey.
“We’re here to be part of the community, having the opportunity to grow and to prosper,” Castro said. “We’re citizens of the world. We are connected here.”
Castro explained El Meson started its new weeklong concept with a New Year’s Eve week celebration followed by a Valentine’s week celebration. He said people enjoy having multiple options because it helps take the pressure off of finding a babysitter for a certain night or simply coordinating around other life events.
“All of us live too complicated (and) are too turned in,” said Castro. “Turn off your phone. Take the night off. Be in the moment. Enjoy life.”
El Meson is located at 903 E. Dixie Drive. For more information, visit www.elmeson.net or www.facebook.com/ElMeson.
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