Homemade margaritas, family recipes just part of menu at Del Mezcal

José Loya and José Lopez pose for a photograph inside the new Del Mezcal Tacos and Margaritas on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Steamboat Springs newest restaurant, Del Mezcal Tacos and Margaritas is bringing authentic Mexican fare including one-of-a-kind margaritas assembled using a homemade syrup, and a Birria Plato created from a recipe handed down through generations.

“We grew up in a house with my grandparents,” said co-owner Jasmine Loya who is opening Del Mezcal along with her husband, José Loya and her brother José Lopez and his wife Perla Lopez. “We are from Ayutla, Jalisco, and my grandparents, Carmen and Chema Lopez, are really well known in the area for their Birria, and this is our family’s recipe.”

The new restaurant will open its doors on Friday, Dec. 16, and co-owner José Lopez said the menu will be filled with a number of traditional Mexican dishes including fajitas, carnitas, enchiladas, quesadillas and the Del Mezcal burrito.

There will also be a selection of soups including chicken tortilla, Caldo De Cameron, Menudo, green chile and Pozole as well as a huge selection of appetizers including the always-popular guacamole, chips and queso and nachos locos, and a couple of American choices like cheeseburgers and chicken wings.

He said Del Mezcal will also bring a selection of more than a dozen tacos choices including distinctive flavors like Camarones, which is made with grilled shrimp, Mahi Mahi and Langosta, with grilled lobster. Customers can also choose from steak, pork and chicken.

“We are trying to offer tacos that are really, really Mexican,” Jasmine Loya said. “We have arrachera, chicken, lobster, shrimp and cochinta pibil (which is made with shredded pork marinated in orange juice) from Oaxaca.”

The restaurant, which is located at 729 Lincoln Ave., will also bring adult beverages with a Mexican flair it bar with, as the name alludes to, and a focus on 13 mezcal and a selection of mezcalitas that included smokey grill, blue, spicy, Hibiscus and pina enchilada. Customers will also find 26 different tequilas on the drink menu. There is also a large selection of draft, imported and domestic beer. Margaritas include De La Casa, La Original, Cadillac, Agave Azule, jalapeno and cucumber all made with the restaurants own homemade syrup.

José Lopez, left, and José Loya stand in the stairway leading to the new Del Mezcal Tacos and Margaritas restaurant at 729 Lincoln Ave. on Dec. 14, 2022 in downtown Steamboat Springs.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

“A special thing about this place is going to be the homemade margaritas, made with a homemade syrup,” said José Loya. “We don’t want to use any triple sec or sweet and sour mix, and that’s going to make our margaritas different.”

José Loya also said that the family connection makes the Del Mezcal special to him. The staff is made of 10 family members, and celebrates the family with its menu and drink selection. Del Mezcal will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and the bar will be open a little later into the evening on the weekends offering a limited food menu as well.

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The restaurant takes over the space that was home to BW-3 in 1997 before it became the Tap House and was in business for nearly a quarter century. Former owner Patrick Groves transitioned the restaurant into a Texas style barbecue place, Mad Creek BBQ and Saloon last winter, but the concept was short lived.

Del Mezcal Tacos and Margaritas will open Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, featuring a full bar with a huge selection of beer, margaritas, and a selection of mezcal and tequila.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Lopez-Loya group contemplated starting a food truck, but when the space opened, they decided that the concept would better fit into a more traditional brick-and-mortar operation that could operate year-round. They leased the space from an owner represented by Jim Cook.

“What makes this place so special, aside from the fact that we’ve got our entire family opening this restaurant, is that this is the first restaurant in downtown to have a fully in-place recycling plan that includes organic materials, other recyclables and trash,” Cook said. “It allows us to get rid of dumpsters in the alley.”

The family has also freshened up the inside with a deep clean, a fresh coat of paint and new decor that better matches the restaurant’s theme.

“We were trying to open like a food truck when we saw this place was for rent,” Jasmine Loya said. “It’s been very exciting, and we have tried to do new decorations, and give it a new feel. We are thrilled to bring our food, and our traditions to Steamboat Springs.”

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