Niantic Main Street is happy to welcome La Llorona Progressive Mexican Restaurant to downtown Niantic!
“It’s been our dream to open our own restaurant that celebrates and shares our culture, through fine foods, cocktails, great service, festivals, and celebrations,” said owner Gabriela Y. Herbert.
Owned and operated by a family with both Mexican & American roots, La Llorona’s food is big on flavor and family values as well as a true sense of community. See their menu on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Family members have worked for many prestigious restaurants throughout New London County.
“Our approach towards food is to bring new light to our cuisine, with an artistic approach towards traditional, cultural, regional & seasonal foods of Mexico,” said chef Christopher Herbert. “Our beverage service will bring a fresh perspective to possible flavor profiles and combinations of exceptional Mexican Cocktail, Wines,Sangrias, Mexican Cervezas, Margaritas, Mezclas & Tequilas.”
Family members Oscar Yanez and Ricardo Yanez round out Llorona’s chefs.
The restaurant translates the family’s heritage into a warm inviting atmosphere that features Mexican design and showcases artworks that celebrate all of Mexico.
“Over the years we have noticed that Niantic has a strong connection to community and family. That community family feel of a small town that thrives makes us feel welcome and at home. We have had the opportunity to get to know the community through food, festivals, and celebrations over the years. We feel a true connection that East Lyme Niantic was a town with an appetite for great food, drinks and celebrations with excitement,” said managers Noemi and Kristel Yanez.
The story of La Llorona is not a haunting tale in our culture as most people have been led to believe. The haunting tale that has been embellished by the retelling of a Mexican folklore that has been created to scare young children to be well behaved. The true cultural heritage story goes back to a place in time before the roots of Mexican Culture began. To speak of La Llorona is to speak of a person that has inspired legends and stories that have transcended over time, and that in today’s day form part of the identity of millions of Mexicans. The original story of La Llorona is not scary like many people think. For many historians, the origins lie in the Goddess Tonantzinor, or Cihuacoatl, the female serpent, protector of the race and mother of the empire whose predictions of a tragic end for the Aztecs were eventually turned into cries for the race which was ultimately conquered by the Spanish. She is linked to symbolic elements such as water. According to the tale, La Llorona wailed during the night, warning her children of the evil that could change the destiny of the people of the valley.
Different versions of the story also mention the link between La Llorona and La Malinche, or Malintzin, considered for many to be the first Mexican mestizo in whose womb developed the mix of the Aztec and Spanish cultures, and one of the first women to convert to Christianity. La Llorona, according to one of the versions of this legend, is the soul of La Malinche, crying for her children, heartbroken for the betrayal committed in her village which ended with the victory of the Spanish over the Aztec empire, and in the eventual conquest of Mexico.
The legend of La Llorona is told all over Mexico. For this reason, there are different points of view. However, what stands out is that these stories are centralized in the culture of Mexico. The legend is an indisputable story whose pre-Hispanic origin and cultural pride signifies enrichment of the myth, legend, and traditions of Mexico.
“We chose the name La Llorona Progressive Mexican Cuisine because it drives the curiosity of the people on one of the most retold stories throughout all of Latin America. The story evokes a feeling of being able to overcome life’s challenges and thrive in an uncertain time,” said Betty Garcia, the restaurant’s head of marketing.
La LLorona Progressive Mexican Cuisine
13 Hope Street, Niantic, CT
Hours of operation: Monday -Thursday 3-9pm, Friday and Saturday 3-10pm, Sunday 3-9pm (subject to change)
Follow them on Facebook or Instagram.