You can expect good drinks, tasty food and amazing bonding times in
Tallahassee’s Mexican restaurant, El Patron.
But it was not always like that. Many complaints came from customers —
along with an inspection by the Department of Health — which led to the
restaurant’s closing on Aug. 1, 2022.
El Patron Mexican Grille was closed for three weeks after failing a health
inspection. Health inspectors discovered numerous violations in the restaurant
when they were there for a routine inspection, from food not hitting the right
temperatures to the cleanliness of the restaurant as a whole. El Patron lost
considerable revenue while closed trying to rebuild the restaurant to the
requirements of the health department. Customers who were regulars had many
issues with the restaurant being closed and said they were confused as to why
the popular Apalachee Parkway restaurant was closed from Aug. 1-22 last year.
Chanda Bernard, a regular customer at El Patron, says the restaurant
closing was the best thing that could have happened.
“Even though I love eating there, there were many interior issues I saw,” Bernard
Some meals that were ordered were never up to par, she said.
“They sometimes would be missing key ingredients or the food would just not be
good,” Bernard said.
Inspectors ended up giving the restaurant violations on many areas from
the sanitary area to the food area. An employee at El Patron who asked to
remain anonymous said there were some violations but that the restaurant did
not need to close.
“Every restaurant goes through things but we were never bad enough to be
closed,” the employee said.
Three weeks of no work and no pay affected a lot of employees. “Bills have to
get paid somehow,” Bernard said.
The restaurant closing affected a lot of people but it is possible it also
helped El Patron become a better restaurant. After failing their inspection they
were able to renovate the facility and become better for the workers and more
appealing for customers. The restaurant now appears cleaner, and possibly it is
busier than tt had been.
El Patron’s ratings went from 3.5 stars to 4 stars after failing the inspection,
closing and reopening.
At the end of the day El Patron closing might have been the best thing that ever
happened to the restaurant. It has significantly bounced back and does not seem
to be looking back.