It’s back to the future for The Original Margaritaville

Background: The Original Margaritaville has long been a favorite for those wanting a good meal and a relaxed environment inside, as well as the party atmosphere on the 10,000 sq.-ft. deck outside, featuring live bands catering to motorcycle enthusiasts. 

Many patrons of long-time Sandusky attraction were not pleased when the restaurant turned away from its traditional Mexican cuisine several years back. Well, don’t fret, the tacos, chimichangas, Mexican pizza and several other Mexican favorites have returned. 

New leadership: Chef Daryl Mominee is the new manager and he’s putting his own flair into the Mexican-themed menu. 

“All the fan favorites that people love are back,” Mominee says. 

After taking over ownership in November, Larren and Dean Wikel, along with partner Christopher Schaeffer, recruited Mominee to run the show. They shut things down for a few weeks to make some improvements. In addition to the new culinary offerings, diners will see a freshly designed interior, with new tables and chairs, a new floor plan and remodeled bar. 

What to expect: Mominee said customers will find a friendly staff and a warm, inviting atmosphere at the new Original Margaritaville. They will still have a choice of the front dining room and bar with a close-up view of the impressive waterfall or in the back room, which is big enough to host large groups and allows diners to experience both the view of Cold Creek and the waterfall.

Those looking to quench their thirst will be pleased to know that the margarita machines are gone, replaced with handcrafted margaritas and other, brighter drink specials. 

“Every drink will be made right in front of you,” Mominee says. 

To improve the dining experience even more, servers are equipped with hand-held point-of-sale systems allowing for quicker service. 

“With the new menu and our new POS system, our service will be much faster,” Mominee says. 

The kitchen out on the deck will also be open until the wee hours of the morning when the warmer weather arrives, featuring fried foods, like wings, as well as sandwiches, pizza, and smoked meats. 

“I’d like to keep that kitchen open as late into the season as we can and as late into the evening as we can,” Mominee says. “If we can keep it open until one in the morning, that would be great.”

Visit The Original Margaritaville at 212 Fremont Ave., Sandusky.