By Rebekah Martin
La Cantina is bringing a little south-of-the-border flavor north of downtown Opelika’s tracks.
The restaurant, located at 870 N. Railroad Ave., held a soft opening tonight that featured a limited menu that included steak and chicken tacos, roasted street corn, churros and Mexican hot chocolate. The preview will continue tomorrow from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. A grand opening event with an expanded menu is slated for Jan. 11-15.
Jennifer Collins, who handles the restaurant’s marketing, said she wants to see La Cantina become a destination of distinction in Opelika.
“Through market research, it was determined that there was a need for Mexican in this area, and we kind of looked around and saw that a lot of the Mexican places … are very similar,” Collins said. “We wanted to do something that was just upscale – a couple steps above what you can find at other places and hopefully keeping with the rest of the downtown feel.”
With space to fit 184 patrons, the restaurant will be open for lunch from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The 15-month renovation of the building features wooden beams that were recovered from the West Point Pepperell Mill, original 1930s tile and patio seating for 40.
General manager Bill Young said the menu will feature six signature margaritas, speciality drinks and craft beer. Young added he will be filling cook, server and bartender positions in the coming weeks. Employment applications can be found online at www.whistlestop-opelika.com.
For more information, find La Cantina on Facebook and Twitter.