101 Cantina is a quintessential college town bar and restaurant. It is known as a favorite for good food, good drinks, and a good time. By day, it’s a popular Mexican restaurant and by night a fun bar for students to hang out and escape busy college life in Gainesville.
Server and bartender Jenna Kohlbrand said that what makes Cantina unique is that it is not only a restaurant, but also a tequila bar.
“It has a wide variety of tequila that goes perfectly with the Mexican theme of the restaurant,” Kohlbrand said.
Cantina also features a unique atmosphere with fun up-beat music and an outside area with a large tiki hut bar.
The food is classified as Mexican-style cooking featuring entrees like tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, and guacamole. Additionally, it has unique desserts like the cheesecake flautas.
“My favorite menu item is La Bamba tacos with shrimp, lettuce, cheese, and a yummy sauce, Kohlbrand said.
Kohlbrand says she enjoys working at Cantina because of the fun environment. In addition, she has made life-long friends because the employees spend a great deal of time together both in and out of work.
“A perk of working for such an iconic place in Gainesville is that all my friends are more inclined to come see while I’m working, which makes working that much more enjoyable,” Kohlbrand said.
Kohlbrand explained that Gator game days are Cantina’s specialty.
For game days and popular events and holidays, Cantina brings in huge tents that are set up in the parking lot. The tents are equipped with about 6 bars and have multiple TVs and huge speakers that broadcast the game for those who are tailgating there, Kohlbrand said.
“During the day it is definitely the best place to tailgate with great food and drinks, and at night it is by far the best place to celebrate and have a good time because the tents basically turn into an outdoor nightclub,” Kohlbrand said.