Mexican restaurant was damaged by fire on Sunday.

Last updated: May 01. 2013 11:24PM - 6691 Views
By - smocarsky@timesleader.com - (570) 991-6386

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PLAINS TWP. — Fans of La Tolteca’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration won’t have to miss out on it this year, even though the popular Mexican restaurant was heavily damaged by fire Sunday.

The Woodlands Inn & Resort announced Wednesday that it will partner with La Tolteca and host the celebration from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

“La Tolteca is a long-time staple and community-minded business,” Woodlands general manager Rick Kornfeld said in a prepared statement. “We hope that by providing the use of our facility to them they will not lose their biggest event of the year.”

La Tolteca owner Carlos DeLeon, who was busy working on the site clean-up at his restaurant, located on Mundy Street in Wilkes-Barre Township, said he considers Kornfeld a friend and was moved by his offer.

“Many people were looking forward to the celebration,” DeLeon said. “While attendees won’t have our full menu to choose from, they will still enjoy traditional favorites including fajitas, rice and quesadillas, tacos, and rice and beans.”

Indoor seating is available, along with al fresco dining at the Crescenzo’s Brick Oven Eatery deck, rooftop courtyard, and newly renovated SKYY Vu DeckBar.

There is no admission fee, but access to the buffet is $15.99 per person. Items from the Crescenzo’s Menu, including a children’s menu, also will be available. Beverages, including La Tolteca Margaritas and Mexican Cerveza, will be available for purchase. Entertainment will feature DJ Diva and DJ Jamm. The resort is on state Route 315 in Plains Township.

DeLeon said the event will help his business as it bounces back from the fire, and the Woodlands will profit as well. Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. In America, it’s a day to celebrate Mexican heritage.

Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Yuknavich said Monday the fire was accidental, was probably started by a still-lit cigarette tossed near cardboard boxes near the rear of the building where employees take their breaks. The fire ran up the outside wall to the roof. He said employees tried to douse the fire with a garden hose but couldn’t contain it.

DeLeon said he hopes to get the place reopened within a month. About 30 people work in the restaurant. A second location — LaTolteca Express — in the Gateway Shopping Center in Edwardsville remains open.

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