Mexican restaurant La Catrina Bar & Lounge to open in Bethesda

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Francisco Reyes, 46, and his family look forward to bringing the traditional cuisine of his Mexican hometown of Oaxaca to diners when they open their first restaurant, La Catrina Bar & Lounge, in downtown Bethesda next month .

“We are passionate about food and customer service,” Reyes said. “We have always dreamed of having our own restaurant and now, thank God, together with our friends and partner, Steve Santos, and our chef, Ismael Galguera, we are making that dream come true.”

La Catrina Bar & Lounge at 4935 Cordell Ave. will be a two-story venue with the restaurant primarily on the main level and the lounge on the upper level. Reyes said he didn’t have an exact date for the official opening, but would provide updates on the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Reyes has lived in Prince George’s County for 22 years, where he also started a small construction business, Reyes Drywall Services Inc., in 2006. He has three children and his wife, Lisveliz Liz Nunez, 33, is part owner of the bar and lounge. .

Reyes said he had the idea to start the restaurant after meeting Galguera.

“I was looking for good opportunities for a new project,” he said. “We have a good projection – we plan to serve authentic Mexican cuisine from Oaxaca.”

According to Reyes, they plan to offer DJs and live music on the next level along with the ability to rent the space for events.

Reyes’ eldest daughter, Christine, who plans to help him at La Catrina, said her father is always looking to try new ventures.

“He’s really open to a lot of opportunities in life, besides having his construction business,” she said. “We just like going there.”

The grand opening of the bar and lounge will include music, dancing and a giveaway the week before.

“A week before opening, all week, we’re going to be giving free food to people in the neighborhood and the community around there,” Reyes said.

The menu is expected to include both shrimp and octopus ceviche, fajitas and some vegan options that are still being finalized, according to Reyes. There will also be a children’s menu with chicken fillets, sandwiches and empanadas.

Reyes said providing quality service will be a priority at La Catrina.

“Our goal is to give the best possible service and attention to our customers and to meet all the expectations of our beautiful community of Bethesda,” said Reyes.

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