Right down to their famous Christmas Train and Snow Village display, Mike Riggs and his wife, Cindy Hall have always included children when considering the atmosphere they wanted to create in the Latitude 31 Restaurant and Bar in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico.
In 1996, with five years restaurant management experience under their belts, the couple purchased a hillside lot overlooking the old port marina and broke ground for what is now Latitude 31 Restaurant and Bar, a bright yellow building visible from about anywhere within a mile of it. Mike, a former submarine crew member, named the restaurant for the latitudinal coordinates of Puerto Peñasco (specifically, latitude 31º 18´ 26.43″ N).
Latitude 31 was finished and opened in August of 1998 fulfilling a dream shared by Mike and Cindy to have a place where they could host good times (and good food) with their existing friends and the many new customers they knew would become friends. It was an instant hit and remains a crowd favorite 13 years later.
They view their restaurant and bar as more like an entertainment room, an extension of their own home, that part of the house where friends and family naturally congregate to socialize. In fact, they look upon their customers and staff as their extended family; a family that includes staff members who’ve been with them for as many as 15 years, and scores of customers, both locals and visitors who’ve enjoyed their hospitality for just as long.
If you’ve never been to Latitude 31, to get that same good feeling you only have to walk through the door into their clean, pleasant, welcoming atmosphere and be greeted by Mike and Cindy as if you’d been invited to their house.
If you bring the kids along, there’s a good chance they’ll be playing with Mike and Cindy’s two children in no time. Alex, at 11 is very courteous, friendly and knowledgeable beyond his years, always willing to answer any and all questions his fellow kids can throw at him. His young sister, Jena, 7 years old, is shy at first but enthusiastically friendly and ready to play with her peers at the slightest sign.
Even if Alex or Jena are not present, Mike will make sure your offspring discover the play area set aside in one corner of the restaurant, well stocked with toys, gadgets and gizmos to keep them occupied and you secure in knowing so. This time of year, equally fascinating for adults and kids, the Christmas Train travels around miniature snow villages, through tunnels and under a brightly lit Christmas tree with realistic sounds of escaping steam and the ever recognizable train whistle. It’s a display that has grown over ten years to its current size covering the cove at the end of their long bar.
You can drop by Latitude 31and join the rest of the family of friends, customers and kids, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, sports events (on 8 large TV’s), use the free WiFi or even make a toll free call to the U.S.—as if Mike’s or Cindy’s friendly greeting isn’t enough!
This blog brought to you by Sonoran Resorts Sales Group, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales