Word of Mouth

Is Cantina Margarita on the rocks?

Have these drinks been chilled?

When Jack Martinez, founder of the beloved Jack-n-Grill at 2524 Federal Boulevard, franchised his New Mexican restaurant concept to Anthony Javazon, the Jack-n-Grill at 16221 East 40th Avenue became a favorite stop for recalibrating the tastebuds after flying into DIA, and earned a Best of Denver 2007 award (while the original Jack-n-Grill picked up yet another award for Best Green Chile).

But Martinez and Javazon had a falling out over the terms of the franchise deal, and in the spring of 2007 Javazon went his own way and turned the restaurant into Cantina Margarita, which had a menu suspiciously close to that of Jack-n-Grill.

But Martinez could be having the last laugh, because our frequent flier (and green chile eater) found the Cantina Margarita closed at noon on Sunday, which used to be prime time at this joint -- and judging from the orange construction code inside, it may not be reopening any time soon. If ever.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun