VIROQUA — This Vernon County community had been without a Mexican restaurant for several years.
That changed when Jose Guzman of Eau Claire and a few business partners opened Pacifico Mexican Bar & Grill on June 22 in the former The Viking Inn supper club building at 113 N. Main St. in downtown Viroqua.
Guzman said last week that he and his partners decided to open Pacifico “because Viroqua is a nice community” and was without a Mexican eatery. “We assumed many people would like the idea of us opening a Mexican restaurant,” he said.
Guzman said the owner of the building — where the longtime The Viking Inn supper club was replaced by The Eatery Cafe in 2016 — approached his group about opening a Mexican restaurant there. Guzman also is a partner in the two Azul Tequila Bar and Grill restaurants in Eau Claire and Hudson, Wis.
Pacifico opened after several months of remodeling.
“It has a tropical atmosphere, like a beach,” said Raul Guzman, a cousin of Jose, who manages the Viroqua restaurant. The interior walls and much of the restaurant’s all-new furniture, which came from Mexico, are a bright aqua color. On the interior walls are metal lighting fixtures from Mexico that depict tropical wildlife, such as fish and iguanas. And there are plenty of artificial tropical plants throughout the restaurant.
Pacifico has an extensive menu with authentic Mexican food, Raul Guzman said.
It includes such things as fajitas, steaks, seafood, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, tostadas, chimichangas and chile relleno. There’s also a kid’s menu. Desserts include fried ice cream, tiramisu, cheesecake, flan, churros and sopapillas. There are lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pacifico also has a full bar with domestic and imported beer (including several Mexican brands), as well as wine and margaritas and other mixed drinks.
The restaurant can seat 96 people and has about a dozen employees, Raul Guzman said. There are five television sets, typically tuned in to sports events.
“The town has been very supportive,” Raul Guzman said of the restaurant. “Everyone has been very nice. We’ve been very busy.” Many of the restaurant’s customers live in the Viroqua and Westby areas, but some come from farther away, Guzman said.