MOORESVILLE – Katie Reyes married into the Mexican culture and the restaurant business. Her husband is Mexican and has worked in the food service business for most of his life. Reyes’s mother, Patricia Fuller, also loves all things Hispanic and was very interested in owning, but not necessarily running, a restaurant.

So it all came together in July 2005 with El Cerro Reyes, which blends the best of Mexican food with American flair. Mooresville has embraced the restaurant and there are many regulars.

“We always say ‘see you tomorrow’ to our customers,” Reyes said. “Because more often than not, we do!”

The family chose Mooresville for its diversity and small-town feel.

“We were looking for a growing town that did not have a Mexican restaurant,” Reyes said.

The space they chose had housed many different restaurants in the past, but the team cleaned it up and changed the space to an open, inviting area.

Their bar boasts jumbo margarita glasses hanging with enticing twinkles of light. Cacti plants add a dash of desert décor and wooden booths, along with tables and chairs, give patrons a choice of seating. The atmosphere is inviting and the aroma from the kitchen begs you to sit down.

Reyes, her daughter and husband got back from living in Mexico a year and a half ago. In their absence, Reyes’s brother-in-law, Lalo Reyes, managed the place along with help from Fuller.

“It was such a great experience to live in Mexico and be the minority,” Katie Reyes said. “It gave me a new appreciation for both cultures and for the food!”

Reyes already spoke Spanish prior to moving, but now her daughters speak both Spanish and English beautifully.

El Cerro Reyes, translating to The King’s Hill, has a large, varied, you-want-it-you-got-it menu. “We are all about how you want it,” said Reyes. “Since we make everything to order, it is no problem to take something out or put something in.”

This works especially well for anyone dealing with gluten sensitivity or other food allergy.

The menus offers the usual suspects: burritos, tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and nachos. But the restaurant also provides seafood dishes with shrimp, scallops, ceviche, and/or fish.

Plus carne asada (seasoned, seared meat), Mexican pizza, T-Bone steak and chicken dishes.

For a lighter options, they suggest La Lean, which is a mixture of meat and vegetables with no sauce or oil. The children’s menu has Mexican favorites plus a hamburger or chicken fingers served with fries for little appetites.

“We cater to kids,” Reyes said. “We will get them whatever they need to be happy.” 

There are lunch specials ranging from $4 to $8 and they will be at your table in a flash.

El Cerro Reyes has a full bar and boasts some of the best margaritas in town, according to Reyes. “I’m not even sure what’s in them,” she said. “But the bar staff makes them so good and people are always ordering them.”

There are also plenty of Mexican beers and other libations. They do offer catering and can set up taco bars or plated dishes for any event.

Reyes couldn’t be happier with El Cerro Reyes and Mooresville.

“My mom is living her dream,” she said. “And the entire family feels blessed every day. So we’ll see you tomorrow!” 

Want to go? El Cerro Reyes, 655 Brawley School Road, Mooresville, 704-799-0429.