Viva Loco is gearing up to celebrate its 20th anniversary as a Bellmore culinary staple. Tomorrow marks the milestone, and Viva's management and crew plan on celebrating by doing what they do best – serving up fun, eclectic and savory Mexican/Asian/Italian fusion cuisine.
In an industry where failure is the norm and staying power is rare, Viva Loco seems to have found the formula for success.
"Viva Loco is a staple of Bellmore," said manager Tom Scherer. "We've remained that way over the years by constantly adjusting our menu, environment and spirit to fit the needs of our customers. [For our anniversary] we'll still be the same place everyone loves to come and enjoy, just looking to give some new flavor to what we offer."
Those new flavors will have nothing short of a global reach. While anchoring themselves on Merrick Road, the Viva Loco kitchen is not afraid to literally expand its reach and culinary touch around the world.
"As we approach our 20th anniversary, we are pleased to introduce our exciting new menu," said Scherer. "We've still got the favorite authentic Italian and Mexican dishes, but we have added some savory Latin Pan-Asian appetizers, salads, and entrees. We're making the Viva Loco experience a global adventure in dining."
"We also strive for consistency," added Michael Bastiani, restaurant operator. "We have had the same chefs for over 15 years. They keep it interesting by coming up with exciting daily specials. We keep our fingers on the global culinary pulse by traveling abroad and returning with new and exciting dishes and recipes."
The 20th anniversary party specifically will feature some exciting new twists including drink specials, new food tastings, and new specials. Viva Loco is also incorporating a weekly Lobster Bake into their repertoire.
Bastiani also realizes that good restaurants stick around by making that all important connection between the palate and the heart.
"Viva Loco is a family establishment," Bastiani emphasizes. "We have had young couples meet here on their first dates, we have hosted their engagement parties, bridal and baby showers, first birthdays, communions, bar and bat mitzvahs, and now, after 20 years in this neighborhood, we have also had those same families' children's sweet 16s here!"
Now after two decades, it's Viva Loco's turn to celebrate, and be celebrated.
"It's wonderful and fulfilling to watch it go full circle and really be a part of (our customers') lives and their milestone celebrations," said Bastiani. "And we invite everyone down to celebrate our 20th birthday with us."