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The SCENE Magazine

Seasoned restaurateurs celebrate one-year anniversary of expanding their brand with Red River Cantina

Upon the success of their first two restaurants (Red River BBQ & Grill in League City and in Katy), brothers Kevin and Ric Kiersh, with the collaboration of Concept Leader Jim Molina, decided to pursue a new vision under the Red River brand.

Red River Cantina is a Tex-Mex concept they had been contemplating for years in homage to their common familial Mexican heritage. But the ties that bound the three men didn’t end there.

Molina was born and raised in League City, and the brothers’ lineage goes back more than a hundred years ago when their great grandmother, Maximina “Momie” Groce and her husband Leonard Groce settled in League City after fleeing Guadalajara, Mexico. The brothers grew up enjoying the recipes handed down by Momie and other family members and together with Molina, they came up with recipes in their test kitchen for more than two years to create the new cantina’s menu.

The team began acquiring property all around the original Red River BBQ & Grill which first opened its doors in 2002. They built an all-new freestanding restaurant behind the original, which became the new home of Red River BBQ & Grill. Then they completely gutted the old BBQ restaurant space and got to work on creating their vision for Red River Cantina. Working with a premiere restaurant architect, they designed the new venue to reflect the cultural and culinary experiences found throughout Texas and Mexico. From the adobe-style building to the traditional Mexican ceramic tiles on the floor, murals along the walls and the open tortilleria area showcasing the fresh tortillas as they are being made, the restaurant’s ambience blends traditional Mexican décor with a modern Texas flair. 

Molina is particularly proud of the restaurant’s bar area. “We wanted the bar to energize and enhance the vibe and atmosphere of the restaurant, and we wanted it to be a show stopper producing a ‘wow’ effect as soon as guests walk in the door. Our bar area has close to 40 seats around the bar plus four islands and four booths with 10 HDTVs strategically placed at every angle surrounding it, making it a great place to catch any game,” Molina said, “and every cocktail is handcrafted with fresh ingredients and garnishes.”

With their extensive tequila selections and specialty drinks such as the Hornitos Black Barrel Margarita, Red River has become known for their high standards and top quality ingredients in all areas of the restaurant. They are extremely particular about the quality of meat they use in their fajitas as well. And although the ambience and quality standards qualify them for high-end restaurant status, their prices won’t break the bank, especially on Wednesdays when they offer half-off combination fajitas for two starting at 4 p.m., or during their daily lunch specials weekdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We only buy high quality skirt steak for our fajitas. Outside skirt packed by ‘1855’ to be exact, which has to meet more criteria than regular choice skirt steak. We have complete control on the age of the skirt and how it is trimmed, marinated and grilled. We grill our fajitas medium rare to medium and the end product has filet mignon tenderness with great Tex-Mex flavor,” Molina said.

Another menu standout is their Enchiladas Marisco, which showcases their blending of Texan and Mexican styles of cuisine. (These enchiladas are filled with cheese and topped with sautéed shrimp, scallops, and avocados in a creamy white wine sauce.)

Red River Cantina is an expansive restaurant with plenty of seating in the bar area and dining rooms. They have areas available for private parties accommodating more than 100 people; but they can also bring the Cantina flavors to you. They offer full-service catering, which means they can bring the food and the margaritas, too. Their catering services also include on-site grilling upon request and special menus customized by their chefs for private events. Whether it’s a cocktail reception, family reunion, birthday party, wedding or corporate event, Red River can supply whatever the occasion calls for. They also offer online ordering through their website: for to-go orders and delivery with DoorDash. 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Anniversary Celebration: Make plans to join Red River Cantina's One-Year Anniversary Celebration on Monday, March 2 and Tuesday, March 3 for food and drink specials. Toast the occasion with their all-day birthday specials including $1 Miller Lite Draft and $2 Shiner, Modelo Especial, and Dos XX Lager Draft; $4.95 margaritas on the Rocks or Frozen, in addition to their normal weekday Happy Hour specials from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday (March 2), the food special is two beef, chicken, or cheese enchiladas with rice and refried beans for $11.95, valid all day; followed by Tuesday (March 3) commemorating Taco Tuesday with two large tacos with Beef Picadillo or Ranchero Chicken on special for $11.95, also all day.
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