Fiesta Mexicana is a popular Mexican restaurant located in Mount Vernon, Ohio. The restaurant first opened its doors in 1996 and has been serving up delicious Mexican cuisine to the local community for over 25 years. With its festive decor, margarita bar, and authentic dishes, Fiesta Mexicana has become a beloved local establishment. But who exactly owns this successful Mount Vernon eatery?
The History of Fiesta Mexicana
Fiesta Mexicana was founded in 1996 by the Aguilar family. Brothers Ricardo and Roberto Aguilar immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the 1980s in search of new opportunities. After working in various restaurants around Ohio, the brothers decided to open up their own establishment to share their culture’s cuisine with the local community. They chose Mount Vernon, a small city with a population of around 16,000 at the time, as the location for their new restaurant.
The Aguilar brothers came up with the name Fiesta Mexicana to evoke a sense of celebration and fun. They decorated the restaurant with bright colors, Mexican artwork, and strung papel picado banners. The inviting and festive ambiance was meant to transport guests to a Mexican fiesta.
Fiesta Mexicana started out as a small restaurant with only a handful of tables. The brothers worked hard cooking authentic family recipes passed down to them. Word quickly spread about the delicious mole, sizzling fajitas, and frozen margaritas served up at Fiesta Mexicana. It did not take long for the restaurant to become a local favorite.
Fiesta Mexicana’s Growth & Expansion
Within the first few years of opening, Fiesta Mexicana was doing so well that the Aguilar brothers decided to expand. In 1998, a separate bar area was added to accommodate more tables and give customers a place to enjoy margaritas and Mexican beers. The restaurant also expanded its menu to include more traditional dishes like enchiladas, tacos, and quesadillas.
By the early 2000s, Fiesta Mexicana had truly established itself as the top place for Mexican cuisine in Mount Vernon. The restaurant had hired over 20 employees to keep up with demand. Many loyal customers would visit multiple times a month.
In 2005, Ricardo and Roberto Aguilar made their biggest expansion by purchasing the vacant lot next to Fiesta Mexicana. They built and opened a new larger dining room complete with a full bar, stage for mariachi bands on weekends, and colorful hand-painted murals. This expansion allowed the restaurant to seat over 150 guests and host special events.
Modern Day Operations
Today, Fiesta Mexicana is still owned by Ricardo and Roberto Aguilar. After over 25 years in business, the restaurant has become an institution in Mount Vernon. The Aguilar brothers are still very involved in the day-to-day operations.
Ricardo’s son Pablo Aguilar has also taken on a key role in managing the restaurant. He oversees the kitchen staff and ensures the quality of recipes is maintained. Pablo has introduced some new twists on classic dishes but stays true to Fiesta Mexicana’s culinary roots and traditions.
Fiesta Mexicana employs around 50 staff members including cooks, preppers, servers, bartenders and hosts. Several key employees have been working at the restaurant for over 15 years, which provides continuity in excellent service.
While many other locally owned restaurants have come and gone, Fiesta Mexicana remains a constant dining hot spot in Mount Vernon. The restaurant has retained its reputation for delicious authentic Mexican cuisine, freshly made sauces, and fun vibes perfect for celebrations.
The Restaurant’s Future
Moving forward, the Aguilar family plans to keep Fiesta Mexicana thriving for many more decades to come. They have considered expansion ideas such as opening another location in a nearby city or building an outdoor patio. However, Ricardo and Roberto feel strongly about maintaining the original Mount Vernon location that started it all.
In the coming years, the Aguilar brothers hope to continue passing on their passion and knowledge to the next generation. Several of Ricardo’s children and nephews have worked at Fiesta Mexicana over the years. The family wants to keep ownership within the Aguilar lineage in the future.
While so much has changed in Mount Vernon since 1996, Fiesta Mexicana remains a delicious staple. The community can count on the Aguilar family to keep serving up authentic cuisine, signature margaritas, and good times for years to come!
The Owners: Ricardo & Roberto Aguilar
As mentioned, brothers Ricardo and Roberto Aguilar are the founders and current owners of Fiesta Mexicana in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Here is some background information on the two men behind this beloved local restaurant:
- Born in 1959 in Mexico City, Mexico
- Immigrated to the United States in 1982
- Worked in restaurants in Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati before opening Fiesta Mexicana
- Oversees the front-of-house operations and manages the servers/bartenders
- Married with 4 children who have all worked at the restaurant
- Resides in Mount Vernon and is involved with the Chamber of Commerce
- Born in 1964 in Mexico City, Mexico
- Immigrated to the United States in 1985
- Worked as a cook at various Ohio restaurants before founding Fiesta Mexicana
- Oversees the back-of-house as head chef and kitchen manager
- Married with 2 children who have worked at the restaurant
- Lives in Fredericktown and volunteers at the Rotary Club
Together, Ricardo and Roberto Aguilar make the perfect team to own and operate Fiesta Mexicana. Ricardo keeps the dining room running smoothly and manages the servers, while Roberto oversees the cooking staff and food preparation. While they have help from their children and staff, the Aguilar brothers are very hands-on owners who work long hours at the restaurant.
Signature Menu Items
Over the past 25+ years, Fiesta Mexicana has honed in on some customer favorite menu items. Here are some of the dishes that keep guests coming back again and again:
Fresh avocados smashed and mixed together right at the table with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeños, and lime juice. Fiesta Mexicana’s guacamole is made-to-order so it’s incredibly fresh and flavorful.
Tacos al Pastor
Marinated pork that is sliced right off the trompo (vertical rotisserie) then served on warm corn tortillas and topped with onions, cilantro, and pineapple. The sweet and savory combination is to die for.
All the classic margarita flavors like lime, strawberry, mango, and swirl mixed with 100% agave tequila. Fiesta Mexicana is known for making strong authentic margaritas that go perfectly with the food.
Warm, cinnamon-sugar coated pastries that come with chocolate and caramel dipping sauces. They are the ideal sweet ending to a Mexican meal.
While the full menu has so many excellent options for lunch, dinner, and weekends, these four items truly showcase Fiesta Mexicana’s culinary talents. First-time visitors to the restaurant should definitely try the tableside guacamole, al pastor tacos, a margarita, and finish off with churros!
In addition to delicious food, one of the things that draws customers into Fiesta Mexicana is the fun, celebratory atmosphere. Here is an overview of what guests can expect when dining at this Mount Vernon restaurant:
Walking into the restaurant, guests are immediately surrounded by colors and decor representative of Mexican culture. Intricate ceramic tiles line the floors and accent walls. Artisanal textiles and blankets are draped over chairs and booths. Hand-painted murals depict scenes of Mexican villages and mercados.
Music & Entertainment
Fiesta Mexicana has live mariachi bands perform on Friday and Saturday nights. The music fills the dining room and bar area getting patrons into the festive spirit. Occasionally, Folkloric dancers will put on shows of traditional dances from different Mexican states.
The bar runs daily drink specials to draw in customers especially for Happy Hour and late night. Some examples are $5 margaritas on Mondays, all-day happy hour on Tuesdays, bucket of Coronas on Wednesdays, and 2-for-1 house margaritas on Saturdays.
Fiesta Mexicana goes all out for holidays like Cinco de Mayo, Día de Los Muertos, the Super Bowl, and more. The restaurant hosts lively celebrations with expanded menus, music, decorations, drink specials, and prizes or giveaways.
When customers visit Fiesta Mexicana, they can expect good vibes, a lively environment, and festive staff. The Aguilar family strives to make every dining experience feel like a little Mexican fiesta. This atmosphere is a key part of what distinguishes the restaurant from competitors.
Giving Back to the Community
In addition to building their business, the Aguilar family makes it a priority to give back to the Mount Vernon community.
Since Ricardo and Roberto themselves immigrated to America, they empathize with those who come here seeking new opportunities. Fiesta Mexicana employs and trains many immigrants, providing good restaurant jobs. The owners also support various immigrant advocacy organizations.
Fiesta Mexicana also gives back by donating food and services. They have catered many fundraising events for schools and nonprofits at discounted prices. The restaurant donates gift cards and catering for auctions supporting various causes. Fiesta Mexicana also provides food donations to shelters and food pantries around the holidays.
Being involved with the Chamber of Commerce, the Aguilar brothers make an effort to participate in city events and initiatives that support small businesses. Overall, Fiesta Mexicana is viewed as an establishment that cares deeply about Mount Vernon and gives back frequently.
Why Customers Are Loyal to Fiesta Mexicana
Over 25 years in business, Fiesta Mexicana has cultivated a loyal customer base with guests who dine at the restaurant repeatedly. Here are some of the key reasons this Mount Vernon hot spot has gained devoted regulars over the years:
- Authentic Mexican food – using family recipes and high-quality ingredients
- Friendly staff – many employees have worked there 10+ years
- Festive ambiance – live music, decor, celebrations
- Supporting local – customers want to support a family-owned small business
- Giving back – involvement with community charities and nonprofits
- Consistency – maintaining high standards for food and service over the years
The Aguilar family delivers an overall excellent dining experience at Fiesta Mexicana through its food, service, and community ties. Customers continue to frequent the restaurant because they know they will receive a quality meal in a lively atmosphere.
For over 25 years, brothers Ricardo and Roberto Aguilar have owned Fiesta Mexicana in Mount Vernon, Ohio. After immigrating from Mexico, they founded the restaurant in 1996 to share authentic cuisine with the local community. From humble beginnings in a small storefront, Fiesta Mexicana has expanded over the years to become Mount Vernon’s top destination for delicious Mexican food, signature margaritas, and fun vibes. While the Aguilar family has grown their business successfully, they remain very hands-on owners who work long hours at the restaurant daily. Fiesta Mexicana has become a local institution thanks to its high-quality food, festive atmosphere, and community involvement. Moving forward, the owners hope to keep the restaurant thriving for many years while passing on their legacy to the next generation.