Vaya Con Dios, Jose and Tony

Jose and Tony’s Mexican Restaurant, a McFarland Road landmark for half a century, served its last margarita on April 6. In its place we are expecting Zorros, a Dominican and Cuban restaurant, to open in June. Writer Annette Bassett wrote a piece in our May issue about the closing. She adds some personal observations. Be sure to check our May issue for Jose and Tony’s closes its doors after 50 years.

I lived on Dell Avenue, not quite two blocks from Jose and Tony’s, for 23 years. It was barely on my radar for the first 15 or so. But as my kids got older and my then-husband and I went out a little more, it became a delightful part of my life.

Jose and Tony’s bartenders Stephanie McDine and Kacey Hull

I’d sometimes split a pitcher of beer and talk Mt. Lebanon mom talk with a good friend who lived on Layton Avenue. It’s where I bought my daughter her first legal drink. My son once played Billy Joel and Joni Mitchell on the jukebox, not because I liked them but because he did. One guy one night, apropos of something being played, declared to all that Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes were his favorite band.

I brought my sister, cousin, several former in-laws (now friends), a couple of dates, and many others here. I saw the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2016. And I learned, at a remarkably advanced age, never—ever—to do tequila shots.

I had never had that place “where everybody knows your name” before. And when I moved to Bloomfield, land of a hundred bars, two years ago, I had no interest in finding a new one. Jose and Tony’s was enough.