Holy Tequila!

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First Posted: 11/17/2014

While people are starting to take out their gloves, scarves and jackets in preparation of winter — with resentment soaring — daydreams of feeling the blazing sun on a beach in Mexico with a margarita in hand make freezing temperatures almost bearable.

Scranton’s newest bar and restaurant, Tequila Mexican Bar & Grille on Penn Ave., may not have sandy beaches, but it is warm and toasty inside, has fresh Mexican cuisine and a fully stocked bar with a list of margaritas that cannot be found anywhere else in the area according to business owner Benny Dzurlic.

“Downtown Scranton needed something different, some different cuisine, so people in the area can have a variety. Scranton already had Italian restaurants and steakhouses, but lacked a menu dedicated to Mexican cuisine. That’s why I decided to open this place,” Dzurlic said of the establishment that opened earlier this month.

Born and raised in Yugoslavia, Dzurlic moved to the United States as a young adult with a dream to own a business in America.

“Owning your own business and living in America was everyone’s dream when I was growing up in Yugoslavia. I came here when I was very young and worked hard to make that happen,” Dzurlic said.

After strict focus and determination, Dzurlic’s goal of owning his own business came to fruition when he opened his first restaurant in New Jersey in 1996. Dzurlic also owns local establishments Martini Grill and Sambuca Grille in Scranton and Vino Italian Grille & Bar in Peckville.

When it comes to the bar selection, tequila lovers have something to celebrate. Tequila Mexican Grill and Bar offers more than 30 different tequilas, with a selection of 100 different tequila’s coming in the near future.

“I’ve never seen so many different options for tequila in one establishment,” said bartender Caitlin Wasnetsky of Olyphant.

Privately owned, the restaurant and bar serves all of their drinks made-to-order.

“Before this place opened up, the only place to enjoy a variety of margaritas were at corporate chains with corporate recipes, sometimes already pre-mixed. Now there is a different option and it’s right in the center of downtown Scranton,” said bartender Nick Chestnut of Scranton.

“Tequila Mexican Grill & Bar is helping revitalize this downtown area. There are so many luxury apartments downtown and it’s providing a night out for young professionals to have a nice meal and a few drinks without having to be around the college crowd that other places often run into trouble with,” added bartender Justin Cantafio of Scranton.

While tequila may be a spirit associated with strong love/hate relationships, the fully-stocked bar offers a variety of options from red wine to ice-cold beer.

“I wanted Tequila Mexican Grill & Bar to be able to fit everybody’s needs and everybody’s budget. We have great cuisine and offer our guests the opportunity to have guacamole made fresh from the avocado in front of them without breaking their bank account. No extra charge,” Dzurlic said.

Tequila Mexican Grill & Bar, according to Dzurlic, is looking forward to providing northeastern Pennsylvania with a unique, Mexican experience.