DuBOIS — Latinos and Company Mexican Restaurant on North Brady Street, the primary DuBois location for Mexican food, has served the community and incoming tourists for many years.
Owner Elka Bresnahan, who moved to the area in 2005, started out as a stay-at-home mother before taking a serving job at the local Mexican restaurant, Señor Al’s, in 2008.
Working her way up, Bresnahan became owner of what is now Latinos and Company in December 2010. In November of 2019, she also became manager of Duffers’ Tavern, 19th Hole Tavern and The Lakeview Lodge in Treasure Lake.
When she first started as a server, Bresnahan said she “lived” there, learning as much as she possibly could on her own, noting that she likes a challenge.
Besides Latinos favorites like homemade chips and salsa and traditional Mexican dishes such as burritos and fajitas, part of the restaurant’s charm, Bresnahan says, comes from her staff.
Latinos has two cooks and five servers, who offer the service that guests return for, she said. Consistency in restaurant service is key.
It’s important to treat employees like family, too, she noted, which is why staff members have stayed throughout the years.
The inside of the restaurant offers an eclectic vibe, with brightly colored walls and some decor.
“My idea was to bring the look of different cultures,” Bresnehan said.
Her favorite part about what she does, Bresnahan said, is meeting many different people, and seeing people in town whom she knows.
“I enjoy when people give nice comments,” she said of the restaurant. “It makes me feel good.”
In fact, Bresnehan says she met some of her best friends through the restaurant.
Typically, when things are normal, Latinos offers live music each weekend. It’s a prime location for things like Cinco de Mayo May 5, where friends gather for margaritas and food to commemorate a Mexican celebration.
Latinos sees its fair share of travelers coming through, who are looking for Mexican cuisine, Bresnahan said.
Everything about the menu is fresh, including vegetables and sauces.
“Everything is homemade — people like that,” Bresnahan said.
The menu offers non-traditional Mexican dishes, too, such as the seafood chimichanga. The menu rarely changes, though, and is kept neutral, Bresnahan notes.
It’s important to Bresnahan to give back and participate in the community, too, sponsoring a baseball team and the local Kidnetix group, and giving gift cards to events.
During the COVID-19 shutdown this year, Latinos closed for two weeks and offered takeout, where it received much community support, she said, and still does.
“I am so grateful to the people of DuBois,” Bresnahan said. “They have supported me, and without them and my staff, I wouldn’t be here.”