By Portia Williams
It was a celebration indeed at Sonora Mexican Grill. Owners Martin and Tonya Miranda, of the quaint restaurant located at 1701 Grandview Ave., in Portsmouth, celebrated one year of business on Wednesday.
Live music was performed inside of Sonora on Wednesday by Aguilas De Oro, a Mariachi band out of Lexington, Ky., which specializes in the authentic sounds of Mexico. The band moved about the restaurant, serenading guests at each table. The wonderful music was well received by the customers, and was apparent with smiling faces, as many appeared to listen intently as the band played.
Tonya Miranda said it has been a challenging operating the business during the course of the first year, but making new friendships has been very rewarding.
“It has been hard, but it has been nice. We have met a lot of people, and made a lot of friends. We feel like we just own a business, we feel like we are meeting new people, and creating friendships that we didn’t have before,” Miranda said. “We have so many people that just keeping coming back, and we treat them as if they are our family, and the food is awesome.”
She said at Sonora they make a concerted effort to offer authentic dishes.
“We’ve tried to change our menu to be different, and people seem to like that. Today we will have our new menus out, and that way we will have food that other Mexican restaurants don’t have around here,” she said. “If you go to a lot of the other Mexican restaurants around here, a lot of the menus are pretty much the same, with different names, so we try to add in authentic dishes from Sonora.”
Getting people to come out has been their biggest challenge, but word of mouth has been their most successful source of advertisement.
“The biggest challenge has been to get people to come and try it the first time, but once they try it, they continue to come back,” she said. “We actually just like the word about our restaurant just travel by word of mouth, and it seems like it has been very successful.”
Possible expansion is on the horizon at Sonora, according to Miranda.
“My husband would like to make an outdoor patio on the side, and maybe buy the parking lot across the road, so that we can expand a little more,” she said. “We are really grateful to the community, and thank everyone for all of the support that they have shown us over this year. We look forward to continuing to serve the community.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter@PortiaWillPDT.