Jorge Mendoza, owner of Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant in Kennett, remembers one word of advice his father gave him on opening a restaurant: “Work hard, treat people right, and offer big servings.”

And from the looks of the crowd at Lupita’s, the advice has paid dividends.

“After working in the restaurant business for over twenty years, I wanted my own place,” says Jorge. “I heard there was a vacant building on St. Francis Street in Kennett that would be a great location. Having worked in other cafes, I know the importance of hiring friendly and responsible employees. As owner, I have to know how to operate a business, purchase food, prepare, and serve our recipes.”

Look up Lupita’s on social media, and you’ll notice that each dish is artfully presented, adding to the appeal. “People come to expect that Lupita’s has food that not only tastes good but is appealing to the eye and the stomach,” Jorge says. He picked up the technical ability to plate food during his career in the restaurant industry, but Jorge thinks his flair for creativity was inherited from his father, who worked as a photographer.

Photo courtesy Lupita’s

Jorge promotes special holidays and events throughout the year. For example, National Taco Day was celebrated October 4, 2019. All employees wore T-shirts that stated, “Tacos are calling and I must go!” And the first fifty customers received a free T-shirt. Plans are being made now for Cinco de Mayo 2020, a holiday to celebrate Mexican pride and heritage. And when the St. Louis Cardinals are playing, the big screen TV carries the game. As one customer said, “Lupita’s isn’t just about food—that’s great, too—but it’s a place to have fun and relax.”

Lupita’s interior is decorated in traditional Mexican colors and artifacts. Bright, cheerful colors range from hot pink, tangerine, and terra cotta. Wide-brimmed Mexican sombreros add to the decor.

Customers like Roger Bundy Sr. come by often. “I come to Lupita’s at least a couple of times per month,” he says. “The food is great, but they treat us like family.” Roger’s favorite selection is Trash Can Nachos. It’s a little bit of everything, including meat, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and refried beans built on several tortilla chips. “Plus, I order extra cheese and sour cream. It’s so much food, I usually leave with a to-go box.”

In July 2019, the Kennett Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting and grand-opening ceremony to welcome Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant to the area.

Plenty of parking for groups, handicap accessibility, and take-out service make Lupita’s a favorite Missouri eatery.

Open daily 11 AM–9 PM • 1009 St. Francis St., Hwy. 84, Kennett • 573-919-5042 • Facebook: Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant, Kennett