Rockford’s new Cinco de Mayo restaurant has recently opened, peppering excitement for its authentic Mexican food and stunning art murals. Mariano Coronado, whose family oversees a dozen restaurants in five states, owns this new ingredient to downtown Rockford, located at 123 Courtland St., but Mariano brings his own special touch to Cinco de Mayo.
“This is the first restaurant I’ve opened on my own, instead of partnering with other family members,” Coronado said. “The Rockford community is very nice and I’m excited to bring a new family restaurant to the area.”
Cinco de Mayo’s brand-new 4,800 square-foot building features interior seating for over 100 people, outdoor seating overlooking the downtown district, a large bar, and high ceilings which accommodate the vast, vibrant murals by local ArtPrize artist, Rolando (Roli) Mancera.
“I was very excited when Mariano called me about doing the murals for this new restaurant,” said Mancera, whose metal sculpture “Templo Maya” is on display at the DeVos Place. “This has been quite the experience working on such a large wall space instead of canvas.”
Mancera is a 26-year-old Grand Rapids based, self-taught artist whose creative works have been featured in various galleries throughout Michigan. His skill with acrylics on paper, oil on canvas, and metal sculptures led him to this opportunity, creating murals depicting various scenes from Mexican history. Cinco de Mayo’s murals feature historical figures that embody the spirit of Mexico’s culture and strong character, as well as murals showing Guanajuato, Mexico (where both Coronado and Mancera were born), silver mine workers, mummies, and the Alley of the Kiss.
“Some days I’ve been painting for 13 hours,” said Mancera. “I really appreciate the support of so many people these past weeks—Mariano, my wife Erika, and my fellow artist and friend Carmelo Lopez, who has provided creative assistance with these murals. Being able to combine my passion for art and history has been very rewarding.”
Tom Cronkright, owner of Cronkright Ventures LLC and property developer for the Cinco de Mayo project, is equally pleased. “I stood in Cinco de Mayo recently and fully realized the beautiful transformation of this location. Mariano’s restaurant is a wonderful addition to Rockford.”
Rockford City Manager Michael Young agrees this has been a successful development project and added, “Despite the current economy, people are still choosing Rockford to invest in and create new businesses.”
Cinco de Mayo offers take-out service in addition to the restaurant experience and is open Monday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Contact the restaurant at (616) 866-3438 for specific hours.
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