Traditional Mexican tacos, top shelf tequila highlight new Albemarle taqueria

Fans of street tacos in Stanly have a new restaurant option featuring authentic, homemade ingredients.

Luna’s Tacos y Tequila is a new taqueria located in the former Cici’s Pizza on the bypass at 636 N.C. Highway 24 in Albemarle.

Pedro Garrido, his wife Leslie and their family own two other restuarants, Luna’s Pizza in Oakboro and Mount Gilead.

However, he said the taqueria has been a dream of his to open.

Named for his mother, Luna, who makes the tortillas for the restaurant’s tacos herself, the menu features authentic street tacos. Beef and chicken tacos are on the menu along with al pastor, pork roasted slowly with pineapple on a trompo, or a spinning spit roast.

“No one around here sells el trompo,” Leslie added.

Luna’s in Albemarle also features tortas, or sandwiches, and sopes, traditional Mexican dishes with a fried masa base.

Ingredients in the tacos are made daily, from the tortillas to the guacamole.

“We are selling street-style Mexican,” Pedro said, saying Luna’s is “completely opposite” of Mexican restaurants in business in the county.

The idea of the restaurant started three years ago, he added, but the actual opening took about two months. For a while, the Garridos had a taco truck, but an accident shut down the business.

“When it’s meant to be, it’s going to happen. That’s what happened with this place,” Pedro said.

One new feature of the restaurant is the bar, which eventually will serve several kinds of tequila.

“We want to have a tequila library,” Leslie said. “We want to have tequila you don’t see elsewhere.”

Fans of tequila will be able to enjoy beverages out of small and large size cantaritos, traditional clay glasses. The large sized cantaritos, with Mexico painted on the outside, will serve four to six customers.

A giant mural depicting the Mexican holiday “Dia de las Muertos,” or “Day of the Dead,” will be one of several murals painted throughout the restaurant.

Pedro’s mother, he said, has always been an inspiration in his life.

“My mom, I feel like she’s always taught us to work hard for what you want, and to not give up. She’s always pushing forward to do better in life, and here we are.”

Luna’s also features a pool table in a revamped corner of the restaurant with a glass window.

Customers will be able to enjoy “el sabor de México,” or “The Flavor of Mexico,” from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. When the taqueria opens its bar, Friday and Saturday hours will be extended to midnight.