Happy hour’ boost

At Don Rafa’s Tex-Mex, one of Huntsville’s most popular Mexican eateries, happy hour still has the same great taste, just a slightly different price.

Last week, the restaurant raised the price of their Happy Hour margaritas from $0.89 to $1.50. Also raised was the price of the popular appetizer “The Fireman’s Special,” from $6.99 to $7.99.

Don Rafa’s, located at 3011 Highway 30 W., was named the home of Huntsville’s best margarita in Nov. 2006 by the editorial staff of The Houstonian. Editor Kenny Bybee described Don Rafa’s margaritas as a swift kick in the butt.

According to Aurelio Macias, manager of Don Rafa’s, the increased prices have not affected patronage of the restaurant. While prices of the Happy Hour margaritas and “The Fireman’s Special” were raised, the lunch and dinner prices are the same as before Spring Break.

Macias said, “The rest of the menu is still priced the same and the items that have changed still aren’t high priced. No one has complained and our customers still enjoy the restaurant.”

The Happy Hour margaritas, served in 11 flavors, are served weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to 7p.m. The margaritas cost $1.50 if a meal is ordered. Ordered alone, they cost $1.99.

“I’m disappointed that the prices raised because they were the cheapest in town,” said senior Megan Shelton. “But I will continue to order drinks there.”

“The Fireman’s Special,” one of Don Rafa’s most popular appetizers, is a combination of fajita beef or chicken, grilled peppers, mushrooms, queso and jalapenos, served with warm tortillas and pico de gallo.

Macias said the price increases were necessary after Don Rafa’s updated its computer system, which was a large, one-time investment. He said, “The new computers cost a lot of money, but they’re working great.”

Although the margaritas themselves are never big money makers, they are an effective marketing tool for Don Rafa’s.

Macias said, “Since we were named Huntsville’s best margarita last year, more and more Sam Houston students have been coming to the restaurant. Attendance has definitely gone up since that article.”

The new prices took effect this week, but Macias does not think they will adversely affect business. He said, “I’m just glad to see everyone back. It was really slow last week.”

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