Local Businesses and COVID-19: Tequila Mockingbird

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Tex Mex Tostada Nachos — layered with beans, ground beef, mixed cheeses & jalapeños and served with a side of queso to dip. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Krupa of Tequila Mockingbird

For today’s Q&A with a local business, we interviewed Lindsay Krupa, general manager at Tequila Mockingbird.

Each kit comes with a pint of fresh homemade margarita mix, (1) 375ml bottle of blanco tequila, (1) 200ml bottle of triple sec, salt and lime. It also comes with a recipe card to follow to best replicate Tequila Mockingbird margaritas at home. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Krupa

The kitchen at the Forest Street favorite is open 4 to 8 p.m. daily, and will be open for the special hours of 12 to 9 p.m. May 5 for Cinco de Mayo. 

In addition to the items discussed below, Tequila is offering “Classic Margarita Kits” to-go.

Here’s our interview:

New Canaanite: How is Tequila Mockingbird doing?

Lindsay Krupa: The spirit in New Canaan is really touching. I think that we have been there long time and everyone just wants to stop in. I see people on a weekly basis, they are trying to keep everyone going and it has been really encouraging. Obviously there is a difference, but we are doing enough to maintain our staff and that’s what is important at this point. 

Chicken Fajita— served with red & green bell peppers and onions, pico de gallo, guacamole and flour tortillas. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Krupa of Tequila Mockingbird

We don’t know how long the restrictions will be in place. What is your sense at this point of Tequila Mockingbird’s ability to outlast the crisis?

I think we just have to do our best every week and be patient with the information as it comes, as difficult as it can be. Every day there is new information about the virus and the way it is affecting a future reopening. We have a really smart and experienced team—my director is great, the owners of the company are great, we have a strong accounting division. We have regular calls and every week we just try to pivot and adjust where we need to.

Chile con Queso — Mixed mexican cheeses with chorizo, pico and peppers, served with homemade tortilla chips. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Krupa of Tequila Mockingbird. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Krupa of Tequila Mockingbird

What, if anything, has this time made you realize or understand even better about the New Canaan community?

I love being at Tequila. I actually never spent time in New Canaan before I started there. I work with a company in Stamford and they pulled me over to New Canaan so I could be there year-round. When I first got to New Canaan, i was like, ‘Wow, what a cute little storybook town.’ I walk from Tequila to Starbucks to get fresh air, and everyone is saying hello and the cute shops are great. Nothing has really changed. I am just so impressed by the type of people that we have in our area. They are just kind, polite, supportive and genuine and this has really exaggerated those feelings I had about them.

Tacos al pastor (Taco Tuesday Special) Tender pork with mexican seasonings, pineapple, street onions and cilantro. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Krupa of Tequila Mockingbird

What do they want most from Tequlia? What are your best-sellers?

Everyone has a different taste. I think the fajitas are number one, because they travel really well and it’s a build-it-yourself thing, so it’s fun for people. They’re also always keeping an eye out for the specials we run here and there, so even though we are doing them less, when we do them people are excited. They’re used to coming in and looking at the famous specials menu out front. The tostada nachos are the biggest app next to guacamole. It’s actually really challenging to keep up with the guacamole, because we didn’t know how busy we would be at first, and avocados can be so expensive. We just had to find out how many to buy.

Vegetarian Rice Bowl — Rice, black beans, sweet corn, red and green bell peppers, pico de gallo, fresh sliced avocado and cilantro. Also available with chicken, steak or shrimp. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Krupa of Tequila Mockingbird

What is your message to customers?

I think we just want to express our greatest and most sincere gratitude to them for sticking by us. And people come not just to order and leave—they are smiling, asking how we are doing and asking about how the staff is doing, and they are generally interested in seeing us survive this. We, in best of circumstances, would not be anything without you guys. It’s obviously tough and people need to feel safe, and the fact that they are trusting us to continue to serve them in these times, it’s really touching. 

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