Feliz Ano Nuevo
South of the border flavor in Southport!
STORY BY: REBECCA JONES
Feliz Ano Nuevo, translates to Happy New Year in Spanish. San Felipe Mexican Restaurant in Southport has a lot to be happy about, celebrating 15 years and most recently, a second location in Southport.
Locals and visitors to the area are familiar with San Felipe Mexican Restaurant near the Lowes Foods on Long Beach Road. The cozy restaurant is warm and inviting with terracotta colored stucco walls, arched stone accents and colorful paint- ings, depicting bright blue exotic waters and far away landscapes. You’ll enjoy toe tapping Mexican music in the background, that takes one to a world south of the border. The wait staff is prompt and energetic, with what can seem like an endless supply of chips and salsa.
Owner/Manager, Cesar Ayala has been with this family-owned business for years. First starting out in Fayetteville, NC, with Monterey’s Mexican Restaurant, and then branching out to open San Felipe Mexican Restaurant in Southport in 2000. The restaurant was named after the small town where the family is from in Mexico. San Felipe is located near Guadalajara and about three hours from Mexico City. Southport was the first San Felipe Mexican Restaurant, now there are fourteen in North and South Carolina including the newest second location in Southport at the Wal-Mart plaza.
Ayla is manager of both locations, and said when the space came available, San Felipe took the opportunity to better serve the growing community, opening in February of 2015.
“Both locations feature the same menu, with best sellers including, fajitas, chimi- changas, and quesadillas: rice and refried beans, con queso dip and guacamole, and the seafood dishes are very popular” adds Ayala.
When one thinks of Mexican dining almost simultaneously one thinks of Margaritas, served frozen or on the rocks with salt, that tequila and lime juice concoction, the inspiration of songs. San Felipe has a wide selection of tequilas: Patron, 1800, don Julio. “It’s a lesser known but very good tequila: Cazadores from Jalisco, Mexico region, made from one hundred percent blue agave.” Ayala points out. The cantina also has a wide variety of cervezas, including a selection of Mexican beers, Corona, dos Equis, Modelo Especial, Te- cate,Victoria and Sol.
Looking for a fun festive place to celebrate a birthday dinner? San Felipe is known for celebrating a feliz cumpleanos with enthusiastic clapping and singing, ac- companied with the huge showmanship of the big, velvet, gold braided, decorated sombrero – a most fitting birthday hat, “it’s a tradition”, states Ayala.
Another tradition is the Mariachi music. San Felipe Mexican Restaurant provides guests with the opportunity to enjoy traditional Mariachi Music, a selection of Mexican folk music with a variety of musical styles, performed in authentic style and dress. The musical group comes from Greensboro performing at the Lowes Food location on the second Tuesday of the month, and performing at the Wal-Mart plaza location the last Friday of the month- times for both are 6pm-8:30pm.
Ayala, expresses his gratitude to the community for the 15 years and looks forward to continuing the tradition in the New Year and years to come.
Visit them at two locations in Southport: North Howe Street (1673 N. Howe Street) and Long Beach Road (4961Long Beach Road, 910-454- 0950). Both are open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.