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Cinco de Mayo a fiesta for local businesses

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Posted: Saturday, May 5, 2012 12:27 pm | Updated: 6:22 am, Mon May 7, 2012.

Cinco de Mayo, a day that celebrates Mexican culture, food and drink, is becoming quite the financial fiesta for local businesses as well.

For many restaurants in and around Lodi, Cinco de Mayo is one of the biggest money-making days of the entire year. Specials on the menu, from drinks to desserts, draw hundreds of people who are looking to enjoy their Cinco de Mayo.

At Habanero Hots on East Victor Road, Cinco de Mayo is the biggest day of the year for revenue.

Owner John DeNigris said he and his restaurant staff prepare for Cinco de Mayo all year long. Hoards of people come out for fun food and drink specials, especially the mole dishes.

"We like to get real authentic on this day," he said.

For those who ate and drank at Habanero Hots on Saturday, their money was well spent.

"We decided to come here for the atmosphere; it's like old Mexico," said Lief Johnson. "How many places can you go and have a 12-foot chili over your head?"

At Cactus Restaurant in Woodbridge, the restaurant had only been open for 15 minutes when groups of 12 to 14 people came in to enjoy some Mexican cuisine.

Employee Sonia Gomez said in total the restaurant saw between 125 and 175 people at the bar and restaurant on Cinco de Mayo.

At Alebrijes Mexican Bistro, the restaurant was booked all day and night for reservations. A mariachi band had guests sashaying in their seats as they sipped margaritas and munched on fresh guacamole.

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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