Cobb County

Metro restaurants take social distancing precautions to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — With metro restaurants allowed to reopen their doors as Georgia continues to ease restrictions from the coronavirus shutdown, Mexican restaurants took measures to follow social distancing guidelines while celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

NewsChopper 2 flew over the parking lot of Paradise South of the Border in Cobb County and saw that it was full of cars with people showing up to celebrate and support the restaurant.

The owners of Paradise, Joe Barrett and his brother Justin, told Channel 2’s Michael Seiden that they took precautionary measures to enforce social distancing during the annual celebration held on May 5.

“Cinco is typically our biggest day of the year by far,” Joe Barrett said. “We’ve roped off every other parking spot to try and keep everybody safe and at a safe distance."


Many of the people who showed up Tuesday night were regular customers, eager to show their support for an industry that’s been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think they’re doing a great job. There’re a lot of parking spaces, which was really important, and I think for the most part people are staying in their own groups,” one customer said.

In northwest Atlanta, a small crowd gathered outside Nuevo Laredo Cantina, sipping drinks in the parking lot.

There were also some patrons wearing masks while waiting for their takeout orders.

“Cinco de Mayo has always been monumental for us," said Sebastian Listur, general manager of Tiajuana Joe's near Lower Roswell Road and Johnson Ferry Road. “We wanted to be a bit more cautious."

Listur told Seiden that he and his staff were working around the clock.

“The calls were coming in. People are wanting to get their fajitas on. We ordered extra chicken and extra steak,” Listur said. “People are wanting their margaritas as well, so we ordered extra mixers as well and we’ve got more tequila then we know what to do with. "

At No Mas Cantina on Walker Street in downtown Atlanta, it was a different type of celebration.

The restaurant was closed to the public while employees cooked and delivered 2,020 meals to first responders and essential workers all across metro Atlanta.

During Tuesday’s parking lot party, the staff of Paradise raised money for Must Ministries, which is helping to feed the homeless during the pandemic. Donations can be made at the GoFundMe page set up by the restaurant.