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El Patrón Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar presented by Etre Restaurant Group will be making its debut appearance to downtown Iowa City in mid-July 2016.

Orginally Givanni’s, Etre purchased the establishment in 2014 and had the intentions of maintaining the restaurant and renovating some of the space. However, due to the grand opening of the Iowa Chop House– which they were also working on– Givanni’s had to be set aside. All of this, alongside being huge fans of Mexican food, taking a few trips to Mexico and the west coast, and being intrigued by the food truck scene, Etre decided to switch gears and start from scratch, thus bringing us to El Patrón.

In an interview with the Director of Operations, Jason Alt gave Spoon Iowa insight into discovering their logo. “Being Iowa City natives, it was important for us to create a concept unique to Iowa City. Inspired by the sugar skulls and folklore of the Day of the Dead, our logo emerged with the state flower, State of Iowa, area code, corn and the actual words ‘Iowa City’ in the brow area of the design.”


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With the logo complete, they began creating a name for the new place. Locally, no one was using tequila in a creative way so Etre decided to jump on that idea fast. They have even created their own custom tequila by partnering with Patrón spirits and their barrel select program. Alt expressed that their goal is to “put unique spins on traditional and not so traditional cocktails and uses of tequila.”

Already dominating the Asian, American, and Italian cuisine, Etre began focusing on Mexican ingredients and flavors. With that being said, I asked Jason Alt if there were any secret menu items or highlights customers should be on the look out for: “We’re not only serving the traditional Mexican standards [such as] tacos, burritos, fajitas but also incorporating those flavors in new and untraditional ways. With both our food and bar menus you’ll see unique plating and presentation of the traditional and expected menu items but also unexpected items like burritos loaded with French fries and other American standards.”

Introducing one of their slogans, “Made in Iowa City with Mexican parts,” El Patrón wishes to create a fun, upbeat, yet unique environment where Iowans and even visitors can come and spice up their day with a little Mexican flavor. Starting in July, they will be open from 2pm-10pm and estimating to be open for lunch in the fall and late nights on the weekends.


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Make sure to check out El Patrón Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar this summer, as I’m sure it won’t be one to miss! Stay up to date on all things El Patrón by following them on their social media accounts: