The building at 1440 N. 8th St. in Pekin has been home to a wide variety of businesses in recent years. Previous occupants have included two Italian restaurants, a steakhouse, a supper club, two Chinese restaurants, and an Irish pub. Leobordo Barragan, the manager of Good Tequilas Mexican Grill, the site’s current occupant, is hoping that corporate backing, combined with quality food and service, will mean staying power for the restaurant.

“We have a company behind us, where other restaurants that were here did not,” said Barragan. “That gives us an advantage, and it also helps that the owners of this restaurant own the building, which means we don’t have to pay any rent. There’s a Good Tequilas in Grand Prairie Mall in Peoria and one in Bartonville, and the owners want the managers at all the locations working as a team to help each other succeed. We offer our customers good food, good service, and fair prices, and that will keep them coming back. We want to give people consistent quality, and if something’s not right, we want to know so we can try to make it right.”

Because Good Tequilas has only been open since May 8, Barragan has not yet had time to establish a regular customer base. But the early signs for repeat business seem promising.

“The three pillars of any restaurant are good food, good service, and fair prices,” said Shandal Tassart of Pekin. “Good Tequilas has all three. I’m sure I’ll be coming back.”

“The food was good and the service was quick,” said Erin Deputy of Pekin. “I had the lunch special: a taco and a burrito. It was all tasty, and it came to my table hot because of the prompt service. I will definitely be coming back, and I’ll tell my family and all my friends. It was that good.”

In addition to being aware of the importance of offering customers quality food at reasonable prices, Barragan believes the location is conducive to success for Good Tequilas’ latest local franchise.

“It’s right on a corner of a busy street, so it’s got great visibility,” he said. “If it were three or four blocks off a main street, people couldn’t see it and wouldn’t know to come in. If it were in the middle of a block, they might see the building, but might drive right past because they wouldn’t see a convenient place to pull in.”

A signature dish at Good Tequilas, according to Barragan, is Pollo Oaxaca, marinated chicken breast topped with red sauce and melted cheese and served with lettuce, sour cream, rice and beans. The restaurant offers daily lunch, dinner and drink specials.

Good Tequilas is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.