There has been a hole in my heart every since Cantina went out of business last summer and I’m afraid that nothing will ever be able to take its place.
Cantina Tallahassee—not to be confused with the very different 101 Cantina Tallahassee—had it all; the location in College Town, the dirt-cheap drinks, and the ambiance every open-air tequila bar can only hope to achieve. It was heaven on Earth, and perhaps too glorious for this Earth because Cantina was unexpectedly taken from us.
Maybe I am being biased because I live the #MargLife year-round, but Cantina was my place.
Everyone needs a third space away from home and work where they can just hang out and Cantina was that extra, safe space for me. Not only was Cantina my number one bar of choice in Tallahassee, but it was also the one place all of my friends could agree on. If you wanted to sit down to talk with friends over drinks, there were plenty of tables set up from the earlier daytime restaurant, but if you wanted to party, you could hit the dance floor or the outside patio. Tweeting jokes like “Tina farted” at @CantinaTally’s Twitter account just so that the tweet would appear on the screen might be the most immature, yet hilarious, drinking activity to ever exist.
From Dollar Margarita Mondays to the last call on late Saturday nights, Cantina was consistently a good time that rarely required cover for entry. It was an escape from the freshmen swarming The Strip and accessible to those who didn't want to throw down for overpriced drinks at Madison Social. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pots; Pots and Florida State are interchangeable, but Cantina offered more than just reggaeton. It was special.
Look, I know Cantina wasn’t perfect. The staff was incredibly slow at making and delivering food on Game Day and, sure, maybe the bartenders were the drunkest people in the bar—including all of the customers waiting to get drinks from them—but you have to admit, every single person that worked there was goddamn beautiful. Cantina made up for any issues with free birthday margaritas and those free tequila shots bartenders poured into your mouth (without a chaser) every hour on the hour. And when the night was over, Cantina was within the perfect walking distance to Jimmy John’s for some post-night food.
Cantina Tallahassee was taken from us too soon and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a world without it.