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Casa Mezcal hosts Cinco de Mayo style grand opening

ELKTON — The mezcal was flowing and the tunes were bumping as Casa Mezcal threw a Cinco de Mayo style party to celebrate its grand opening Friday, drawing a full crowd to Elkton’s newest authentic Mexican restaurant.

The event featured food and drink specials, appetizers and a DJ to kickoff the opening of the Coronel brother’s second restaurant location. The young brothers, Christian Coronel, 29, and Diego Coronel, 24, said they are excited to be in Elkton.

“Out of every location I have been in, this community has welcomed us more than any other with open arms,” said Christian. “We want to give everyone a unique Mexican experience and be welcoming the same way Elkton has welcomed us.”

Casa Mezcal will offer happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday along with specials throughout the week starting with Margarita Monday, Taco Tuesday and Wine Wednesday.

“This is an experience I think would be hard to get anywhere else,” Christian.

A “must have” menu item, according to Diego, are the Birria Tacos. Warm, semi-crunchy shell tacos with marinated beef and cheese combined to create a flavor profile full of Guajillo chilies and beef, that pair perfectly with the birria consome dipping sauce that accompanies the tacos.

Diego recommends putting the side of Mexican rice that is served with the Birria Tacos in the consome with fresh lime juice to create the ultimate consome-and-rice soup.

In conjunction with purely authentic Mexican cuisine, Casa Mezcal takes its name from signature agave-based spirit known as mezcal. Christian noted that, while both are made from the agave plant, mezcal and tequila are different liquors, with tequila is considered a type of mezcal.

“Mezcal is about the culture and where agave comes from,” said Christian. “Everyone knows about tequila, but not about mezcal.”

The key difference between mezcal and tequila is that tequila is made strictly from blue agaves originating from the Jalisco region of Mexico, whereas mezcal is made from any agave plant. The difference between mezcal and tequila is similar to the relationship between scotch and bourbon – both scotch and bourbon are a type of whiskey just as tequila and Mezcal are types of agave-based spirits.

Casa Mezcal is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Customers are encouraged to follow Casa Mezcal on Facebook and visit their website for more information.

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Delaware officials celebrate completion of Elkton Road construction project
New bicycle path connects Stonegate Apartments in Elkton to downtown Newark

NEWARK, Del. – After more than two years of work, the Elkton Road reconstruction project is complete, bringing a third lane to the northbound side and a separate path for cyclists and pedestrians, among other upgrades.

The project runs from the Maryland state line to Casho Mill Road in Newark.


An aerial photo shows the recently reconstructed Elkton Road.

“‘I’d like to thank our residents and those who visited Newark for their patience while the work was ongoing,” Newark Mayor Stu Markham said as officials gathered at Suburban Plaza on Friday morning to celebrate the end of the project. “We know it was frustrating, but hopefully they’ll agree it was worth the wait.”

Advance work began in 2019, and construction began in earnest in the summer of 2020.

The $25 million project was intended to provide a more permanent solution to the potholes and rough road surface that had plagued the highway for several years.

The most noticeable change is the addition of a third northbound travel lane between Otts Chapel Road and Christina Parkway in order to accommodate increased traffic.

Other upgrades include a second turn lane from Christina Parkway onto Elkton Road, new traffic signals, new pedestrian crossings, upgraded lighting and new sidewalks.

“This project is a huge improvement to this area,” said Katie Schwander. a Delaware Department of Transportation engineer who oversaw the work.

At the intersection of McIntire Drive, crews built a new entrance and exit from the Dunkin’ Donuts property on the south side of the building. That land, owned by the city, was once used as a yard waste dump but will eventually be converted to a park.

Building that entrance created a traditional four-way intersection and allows drivers coming from McIntire Drive or northbound Elkton Road to enter the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot and provides a signalized exit from the property. The entrance will also serve the new park when it opens.

For pedestrians and cyclists, a 10-foot-wide paved path runs parallel to the northbound lanes and is separated by a grassy median. The path begins at the Stonegate Apartments in Elkton and runs to Gravenor Lane, from which cyclists can ride through Devon and the Binns to get to the James F. Hall Trail. The path includes two new bridges over branches of the Christina Creek.


A new bridge carries a pedestrian and bicycle path over Christina Creek.

“This is just another example of the commitment that we have to invest in our existing infrastructure and to improve safety, not just for the traveling public and the vehicles, but also for pedestrians and for cyclists,” said.

Bob McBride, chair of BikeNewark, said the bicycle path provides a safe way for cyclists to get from downtown Newark to the businesses and schools along Elkton Road. Previously, cyclists had to ride in the busy roadway.

“Before, I would have been a little hesitant even though I’m an experienced cyclist, just because of the size of the traffic and the speed on the road,” McBride said.

State Sen. David Sokola praised the success of the Elkton Road project.

“This road is a major thoroughfare,” Sokola said. “There are several small businesses and schools that access this road as a main artery. It’s great to see it improved and open again for all of us who use it.”

State Rep. Paul Baumbach said the road upgrades help make a good first impression on motorists entering Delaware from Maryland.

“For travelers, it could be the first time they see Delaware and the first time they see the City of Newark,” Baumbach said. “It’s really important that we have such a wonderful experience for them.”

Elkton Road was the third major road project completed in Newark in the past three years. Work on Main Street was finished in 2020. and the Delaware Avenue project wrapped up last fall.

An earlier phase of Elkton Road – the portion closer to downtown that is now called South Main Street – was completed in 2013.

Next up is a massive project to rebuild the Interstate 95/Del. 896 interchange. That work is expected to begin this spring and take two years to complete.

“I share the sigh of relief of Newarkers with the competition. I think there’s always cheering when the orange cones go away,” Baumbach said. “But then we realize they don’t go away, they just moved to the next project that we’ll be enjoying.”