When I was 16 I worked for my grandmother’s friend at Mary’s Café that was located on S. 4thSt. where Walgreens is at now. I did a little bit of everything, washed dishes, bus tables, waitress/serve tables.
I met my husband when I was 17 years old May of 1995. He was working at Maud’s, a restaurant that was located on 6th Ave S. and is now a hot yoga place. He was in charge of making all the soups, specials and pies. After leaving there he went to work at Old Town Family Restaurant, when they were located at 2nd St. When the owner sold/ gave the restaurant to his daughter and son-in-law he worked for them. When they moved locations to Camanche Ave. he went with them and worked. He then started working at a factory full time, however he has always worked at a restaurant on and off through the years. Old town, Nora’s Café, and Mississippi Café (which was located in Albany, the owner was the original owner of Old town and the father to the current owner).
This October we will be married for 26 years, we have 6 children, 5 boys and 1 girl. We have talked about opening a place of our own for years. We did help my brother-in-law and his wife open Cuatlatl’s Family Kitchen and loved every minute of it, but found that working with family can be difficult when you have different ideas and hopes for the business so we left but have been looking for a place of our own.
When I saw McKinley Street Tavern come up for sale I contacted our realtor Liz that day which was a Saturday and asked her to book a showing as early as possible that Monday morning. When we walked around the building we felt like we belonged. We both love the history of the building and hope we can add some new history.
We understand that some people may not like the fact that we are changing the name and will be fine with people continuing calling it McKinley. We are naming it Meche’s Kitchen Y Cantina. Meche was my husband’s grandmother’s nickname. Her name was Mercedes, but everyone called her Meche. She lived with my husband with his family the whole time he lived at home, he left home at 22 years old. She helped raised him, she would carry him on her back in a rebolso/wrap, from town to town. She would cook for and feed him and his siblings. The picture that we will have hanging in the restaurant is a picture that my husband took when he was in Mexico with her and family visiting in 2013, knowing that she was not doing well. He stayed there a week and was able to take several pictures. He came back home at work less then a week later when I received a phone call from family stating that Meche had passed away. So the picture is part of the pictures that he took and our the last pictures taken of Meche.
We plan on keeping the dinner menu and adding some things. Like mashed potatoes and gravy, also maybe T-bone steak. I would aslo like to add some authentic Mexican dishes. We would aslo like to see if we can open for breakfast, will have to see if we can get staff to work. We want to continue the history in the building and build on with some of our own. Keep being the to go place for Clinton residents to have great food and drinks, being the place where everyone knows your name.
Contact us to book a table for any occasion. We accept reservations for up to 20 people.