By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
Monticello has a new restaurant in town: La Hacienda!
The Mexican restaurant opened last week to a huge crowd of patrons, waiting to try something new.
The owners and manager are from Missouri. Fermin Fernandez and Arnulfo Arriaga both worked at Mexican restaurants in Missouri before establishing their own here in Monticello. Wanting to start their own restaurant, they drove through the Midwest, including Monticello, and saw the old Hardee’s building for sale. They looked into buying the empty building and business their first week has been spectacular!
Wanting to revamp the interior of the building, Fernandez and Arriaga quickly got to work. They remodeled, painted and expanded the kitchen, doing all the work themselves.
Offering authentic Mexican food, La Hacienda’s menu includes lunch specials appetizers, salads and dishes sure to satisfy any one’s taste. They also have special drinks to complement any order.
In coming up with their extensive menu, both Fernandez and Arriaga said they wanted to include options from other Mexican restaurants they worked at in the past. The lunch menu was devised as smaller portions of popular dinner items.
In wanting to allow as many customers in at one time as possible, they have seating for up to 120 people if needed.
There are three cooks, plenty of servers and dishwashers, and someone always at the door to welcome and thank customers as they come in and out.
Fernandez and Arriaga purchased all new furniture and kitchen appliances. They also expanded the hood over the stove to 12 feet long.
“We want to offer people good food and good service at good prices,” said Arriaga.
In the near future, they are planning on running lunch and dinner specials, as well as drink specials, aside from what is available on the menu.
“We try the best we can for our customers,” said Fernandez.
La Hacienda is open seven days a week: Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Customers can call in or stop in for carry-out orders as well as come in to dine.
They are located at 103 S. Main St. (former Hardee’s). their phone number is 465-3700.
PHOTOS: Top: Located at the former Hardee’s building, La Hacienda opened last week to a crowd of patrons. They are open seven days a week for dine-in or carry-out. Their extensive menu has something for everyone. Bottom: The bar inside La Hacienda is perfect for those who wish to stop in for a flavored or traditional margarita. Isidro Hernandez (a waiter), Arnulfo Arriaga (owner) and Fermin Fernandez (manager) work during the lunch and dinner hours. (Photos by Kim Brooks)