MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Whether you’ve been living on the Grand Strand for two years or 20, there’s a good chance you’ve been to Fiesta Mexicana. And if you didn’t stop in to eat, you might have been here to party.

“I know that I try to make sure that when everyone walks into the restaurant, they feel like they’re coming into a fiesta, I mean that’s the name right?” owner Gabriel Hernandez said,

This lively colorful staple on the Grand Strand has been living it up for 24 years, and at 25 years old, Hernandez has been here since the beginning.

“So we’ve been here since 1999,” Hernandez said. “It was when my parents opened it up. “And over the past couple of years, through the pandemic, I’ve been managing with my team, and this year my parents handed me control of the restaurant, and so I’ve been taking point and getting things done, getting everything ready.”

While his employees take care of the customer, Hernandez takes care of them.

“So I think the average turnover rate in the industry is anywhere from a year, six months to a year-and-a-half, around there. I’m really really blessed that we have people that have been with us for 10 years, 15 years, even longer than that. And I think a big part of it is you treat everyone with respect, you make sure that everyone is paid well,” said Hernandez. “I think if you take care of the people that help you do what you need to do, then that’s what it’s all about.”

Besides incredible food, plenty of memories have also been made here.

“I think this place is really special to a lot of people,” Hernandez said. “I’ve seen people celebrate, we’ve done caterings for weddings, we’ve had people do weddings here, we’ve had wakes here, we’ve had proposals here. This is a big part of a lot of people’s lives, and I think a big part of that is making it not just a restaurant but making it where you can create memories too.”

One other tip from this restaurant veteran, don’t count the calories, count on a good time.

“Going out somewhere. Getting a cream dish. Getting a cold pint and enjoying life,” Hernandez said. “That’s what we’re trying to re-create here. And I think we’re doing a pretty OK job at it.”

Fiesta Mexicana is always a lively joint with live music, mariachi bands, and events and parties all year long. But mark your calendar for May 5, as they’re throwing huge Cinco de Mayo celebration.

They’re on Highway 17 Business at 70th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach.