If your idea of a fun Friday afternoon involves soccer, margaritas and low-priced Mexican food, Fogón Cocina Mexicana is the right place for you.
As the U.S. soccer national team battles Mexico in a 2018 World Cup CONCACAF qualifier, the Capitol Hill restaurant is expecting its 46-customer bar area will be bursting when they air the match.
But the family-run business on Pine Street is up to the task.
“I think that Mexico will definitely win,” said Fogón hostess Deleighla B. Jellouli. “Everyone in the restaurant will be wearing their game gear and I’m sure the cooks will come out of the kitchen to watch the game with us. Everyone is pretty excited.”
Friday should be a packed afternoon at the restaurant due to the U.S.-Mexico rivalry history. In the last decade, Team USA has battled its archrival 15 times, including three CONCACAF Gold Cup finals—with the Tricolor beating the U.S. 5-0 in 2009 and 4-2 in 2011.
Fogón offers a 3-6 p.m. happy hour every afternoon. Although the restaurant provides diverse food and drink options in its happy hour menu, clients seem to have clear preferences.
“I usually get margaritas because they are the best,” said Fogón customer Tyler Ralston. “They serve it in a shaker, so you get these margaritas in a little tumbler and you can add some to yourself. Plus, whatever they use to make it is a lot better than in any other Mexican restaurants in Capitol Hill.”
The restaurant plays Latin American music in the background during happy hours—including traditional Michoacan songs. It’s a welcoming spot.
“The bar is gay friendly, which is a big thing for us in the community,” said customer Asher Rohan. “It’s also in a great location and it has a good energy. The music is always great, lively, authentic, so that’s cool.”
Although Fogón does not admit minors in the bar area, the restaurant will try to accommodate every adult who wants to watch the U.S. vs. Mexico game.
“Our happy hour reminds you a little bit of Mexico,” Jellouli said. “It’s really cheap drink. It’s really cheap food but it’s also really good food. The drinks are authentic, and the energy brings people to our happy hour. Capitol Hill is small, very neighborhood-ish, so everyone knows each other. And if you come to the same spot to eat and drink, you create a connection with the establishment and the people around you.”