Founded in 2021, Mas Tequila initially opened on the concept of elevated Mexican food and drink, bringing a different market of authentic Mexican cuisine to the area. Another key component—and a direct correlation to the establishment’s name—was to offer a wide selection of tequila and educate people on the market of the spirit.
“Our goal is for people to feel at home at Mas Tequila,” Founder Paola Leon said. “We want people to come in and relax and have a good time after a long day, to sip on some good hand-crafted drinks and enjoy our fresh food.”
Being that tequila is such a strong component of the restaurant’s theme, it only makes sense that the building’s walls are filled with the story of the bottles that line the bar’s back wall. Paola explained that they wanted to showcase just how special and elaborate tequila is.
Mas Tequila has one of the largest selections of tequila in North Dakota!
Every good place has a story. People say in old brick buildings, the stone has seen it all. In some cities, you can walk the same streets that countless historic figures have. An art gallery, filled with new or old pieces, brings the four walls to life with their depictions of adventure. Not often do you find a restaurant that offers that same intricate storytelling, but decorated on the walls at Mas Tequila, you do.
The story begins on the west wall, to the right of the front doors. The first character you see is El Jimador, the moniker given to a person who harvests the agave plant. The job holds deep importance, as the plant takes about six years to reach its full potential.
Once the plant is harvested, you can see the farmers shed the stems, leaving la piña, the core of the agave plant. This displays the traditional method of cutting the leaves off the plant.
After transporting the bulbs to the oven, the piña bulb is baked to extract the sugars, which is normally done in an oven made of brick or clay. You can see the plants darkening in color as they cook.
Once baked, the piña goes through a process to squeeze out the pure agave nectar, which is modernly done with machinery, but on these walls, it guides observers through a traditional method where horses are used to break down the bulb. This process, called tahona, uses a large stone that is pulled by horses to roll in a circle. It crushes the piña bulb to extract the nectar. They chose to display this method of extracting the nectar, even though uncommon, as Mas Tequila carries bottles of tequila that are still made that way at their bar.
Next, you can see the distillery process shown on the walls. This is a very slow process, as the distilled liquid comes out drop by drop.
The tequila is then put to rest in barrels, shown above the windows. Above the seating, there are halved barrels that decorate the ceiling and serve as hanging lamps to shed a warm light throughout the space.
“And that is how you end up with tequila,” Paola said. “The process to make tequila from beginning to end can take 6-20 years depending on the time it is aged in-barrel.”
The entire storyline impressively wraps around the entirety of the space, interrupted by only the front doors, the bathroom hallway (which is nicely decorated by a neon sign saying, “Mas Tequila, por Favor…”), and, of course, the towering bar wall filled with different shapes and sizes of crystal bottles storing the beloved tequila.
And it’s no coincidence that this beautiful story of how the tequila is made ends with a hyperrealistic display of a glass and bottle near the bar, as if to say, “Now, try it!”
And you can—Mas Tequila even has some of the brands that still use the tahona method on their shelves. You can also find tequilas specially-made for the restaurant.
Travel to a tequila distillery without leaving the metro and experience the quality drink for yourself. While you’re visiting, check out Mas Tequila’s new menu, featuring items like a cheesy burger or new appetizers like an order of taquitos, or stop in Fridays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a Mexican brunch that is just as delicious as it is pretty.
Keep an eye out on their socials for announcements of a pop-up event with Thunder Coffee and some DJ events coming this summer!
Travel to a tequila distillery without leaving the metro and experience the quality drink for yourself. While you’re visiting, check out Mas Tequila’s new menu, featuring items like a cheesy burger or new appetizers like an order of taquitos, or stop in Fridays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a Mexican brunch that is just as delicious as it is pretty. Keep an eye out on their socials for announcements of a pop-up event with Thunder Coffee and some DJ events coming this summer!
Blanco – Unaged, straight out of distillery
Reposado – Aged 6-12 months
Añejo – Aged 12-24 months
Extra Añejo – Aged for 2+ years
Cristalino – aged over a year, but filtered
before bottling (newest kind of tequila production!)