Local restaurant’s quest to serve margaritas a success after referendum in Rowan County

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — Mission accomplished for a Mexican restaurant in Rockwell hoping to serve margaritas.

The mayor of Rockwell told Channel 9 the owner of Los Jacubes Mexican Restaurant in Rockwell asked the board for a mixed drink referendum so her restaurant can serve margaritas. The board approved the resolution, leaving it up to voters on whether to legalize selling hard liquor by the drink.

In Tuesday’s election, Rockwell voters approved selling liquor by the drink with 69% support.

Manager Pedro Saldana told Channel 9 he is excited to go to work every day because of the people.

“To me, (coming) to work every day is like a game,” he said. “You know, something fun.”

Saldana says the restaurant was motivated to pursue the referendum because of its customers. They would always ask to purchase margaritas. The restaurant currently only serves beer, wine and sangria-mixed drinks.

“They say ‘it is not good Mexican food with no margaritas,’” Saldana said. “It was good motivation for me to keep working on it.”

Saldana says the ability to sell margaritas at his restaurant will also help financially. The restaurant lost profits due to COVID-19.

His team worked hard for each vote, putting up signs, posting to Facebook and encouraging customers to go to the polls.

Regular customer Leslie Kepley says she was one of many who kept asking for margaritas. She says this measure was one of the main reasons she voted in this year’s elections.

“I am an on the rocks, no salt girl,” Kepley said. “They encouraged me to vote because they knew I kept asking for margaritas and they couldn’t serve me.”

Kepley said she was pleasantly surprised by the results.

“It is very conservative around here but we do love our margaritas with our Mexican food,” she said.

George and Patsy Belibeau eat at Los Jacubes at least once a week. Patsy Beliebeau was born and raised in Rockwell. They say they are happy for Saldana and Los Jacubes.

“It’s a new generation,” George Belibeau said. “People like a cocktail with their dinner.”

While they are excited margaritas will soon be on the menu, they aren’t sure if they will be partaking any time soon.

“I probably will stay with my wine,” Patsy Belibeau said.

No rims are being salted just yet. The results of the election have to be certified. Saldana expects them to be on the menu in the next couple of weeks.

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