Don Pedro Cantina is Webster’s new Mexican sports bar

21 Jan

I absolutely love Mexican food. So I’m probably more excited than most that not one, but two Mexican eateries have recently opened in our area.

I haven’t had the chance yet to stop by Corona’s Mexican Restaurant on Ridge Rd., but a little while ago I did visit the new Don Pedro Cantina and talk to the owner, Mauricio Hernandez.

Don Pedro Cantina opened last November in BayTowne Plaza (which technically is in Penfield, to be accurate), in the former location of WhichCraft Brews. I know for a fact (’cause I heard it from my daughter, for one), a lot of people were saddened when WhichCraft closed. But from what I saw during my visit, those same people will probably like Don Pedro just as much, for a lot of reasons.

This is actually the second Don Pedro in Rochester. The first, now closed, was downtown on East Ave. That Don Pedro, however, was first and foremost a restaurant, whereas this new location is most definitely a sports bar. It’s a smaller, more intimate space than the 10,000-foot East Ave. restaurant, making it more amenable for friends to gather for a few beers and some wings and to watch the game. It boasts 11 large-screen TVs and a huge 40′ by 30′ screen at one end of the room. It’s the largest one I’ve seen pretty much anywhere.

Anyone who liked the food-truck-on-the-serving-floor concept that WhichCraft had will be pleased to know that Mauricio has embraced the idea and will continue to serve his Mexican-inspired menu from the food truck. However, instead of having to walk up to the truck and wait for your meal, a wait staff will take your order and bring the food to your table.

The menu offers a wide variety of Mexican specialties from tacos to burritos, quesadillas to fajitas. And for those who might not be a huge fan of Mexican, there are burgers, wings and nachos.

There are 16 beers on tap, and plenty more canned and bottled selections in the cooler. Plus, for anyone who misses WhichCraft’s craft brews, here’s some exciting news: very soon, Don Pedro will become the first Mexican brewery in Upstate NY and begin rolling out their own craft brews, so stay tuned for more news about that. Trivia fans will also be pleased to know that Mauricio is hoping to start hosting weekly trivia, like WhichCraft did, maybe some karaoke and regular live music.

Mauricio named the business after his father, Don Pedro, and is drawing from his memories of going to a sports bar with his father to personalize the experience.

“My father and I used to go and watch the games. At halftime … the owner would send out a lot of tacos and chips for free. I’m trying to do the same. I’m trying to get to where I can give something back. I think it’s always nice (for fans) when they come and you drop something for free. You feel like they’re taking care of you.” 

That “giving something back” is a big part of Mauricio’s business plan. He’s committed to giving back to the community and helping other small businesses and organizations.

“I try to help as much as I can in the community. My thing is helping out anybody who’s local, who’s maybe not involved in the restaurant world.”

“For example let’s say someone has a local gym. … If they want to buy new machines for the gym, it’s coming out of their pocket because they’re not part of a chain. So we work with them to do a fundraiser … We cut them a nice check so they can invest it in their own business. … I can give back to them and we all can help each other.”

That also goes for sports teams, he added.

“I can be doing some fundraisers for them so they can get some money for whatever they need. … They can spread the word, come in and I’ll do the rest of it. Anybody that wants to make an event so they can make money, my doors are completely open. We work with anybody.” 

“We try to give back a little to society from here.”

Welcome to the Webster/Penfield community, Don Pedro Cantina. Clearly you’re going to be a huge community supporter. (And serve incredible Mexican food, to boot.)

Don Pedro Cantina is located at 1900 Empire Blvd., Webster, in BayTowne Plaza. Click here for their Facebook page and here for their website.

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(posted 1/21/2023)

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