Unique New Restaurant Opens in Former Cedar Rapids Happy Joe’s
When you hear the name Mezcal Tequila Cocina, you might think that another typical Mexican restaurant has opened in Cedar Rapids. Well, I'm here to tell you that Mezcal Tequila Cocina is anything but!
This week, Mezcal Tequila Cocina opened its doors at 5070 Lindale Dr NE in the former home of Happy Joe's. We first found out about the new restaurant back in May when owners Joe & Ryan Avila-Burillo (who also own Chophouse Downtown) announced the new restaurant on social media. The post read:
"Ryan and Joe are excited to announce that we are opening a new concept, #MezcalTequilaCocina! This well-known location has been a family spot for many years, and it feels so surreal for us to be given the opportunity to carry on the torch! The Happy Joe’s building on Collins Road is rich in history and has offered many great past experiences to the Cedar Rapids community. This space offers a unique intimacy that gives us a chance to be even more vulnerable with our approach to service and food and we can't wait to write the next chapter of this incredible book that's already been started!"
Based on the "before" photos, it's clear that the new restaurant has undergone quite the transformation these past few months! Here's what the interior looked like when it was home to Happy Joe's :
Mezcal Tequila Cocina specializes in Latin-inspired, "exciting food with soul, both primitive & contemporary." The menu features all sorts of interesting options, like Street Corn, Chicharrónes, Seafood Paella De Pollo, Jumbo Garlic Shrimp, Fried Brussels Sprouts, Chili Verde Soup, the Chuleta Kan Kan Pork Chop, and more. If you're in the mood for tacos, you can choose from the Roasted Cauliflower, Shrimp Bocadillo, Fried Chicken, Steak, Carnitas, Fried Calamari, and Blackened Salmon. Here's a look at the full menu:
The restaurant also has a drink menu filled with margaritas, palomas, mojitos, and other cocktails. And if you're a tequila-lover, you'll definitely enjoy the sipping tequilas and tequila flights. The restaurant has 42 "core tequilas," with over 150 different variations total!
I attended the soft opening of Mezcal Tequila Cocina on Wednesday, and I tried the Fried Calamari, the Street Corn, the Patatas Bravas, and the Chuleta Kan Kan Pork Chop, which was ENORMOUS. I'm gonna be eating this thing for three days!
Mezcal Tequila Cocina will continue their soft opening on Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the grand opening set for Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. You can follow the restaurant's official Facebook page HERE. Here's a sneak peek look inside the new eatery!
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Gallery Credit: Courtlin