The outside of Bueno Loco in a Falmouth shopping center belies the party atmosphere inside. Photo by Angie Bryan

In a way, Bueno Loco (Spanish for “crazy good”) reminds me of a mullet.

From the outside, it’s an ordinary establishment in a strip mall (Falmouth Village). Easy to miss, nothing out of the ordinary. As soon as you enter, however, it’s a party atmosphere, with bright colors, fun decor and constantly-shifting dots of colored lights that make you feel like you’re on a dance floor (or the target of a sniper). Hello, instant attitude adjustment.

Bueno Loco has been around for about nine years, but the current owners purchased it a year ago, reopening it with several changes at the end of last May. Since they weren’t open in 2019, they weren’t initially eligible for a PPP loan but still managed to make it through the pandemic without government assistance, not even for hand sanitizer. “We’re still here,” said Gregin Doxsee, who co-owns Bueno Loco with her brother, Jeremy Doxsee.  “We defeated the odds!”

The Doxsees, both of whom had worked at Bueno Loco but had never owned a restaurant, transformed it into a fun and funky atmosphere that Jeremy describes as “Mexidelic.” They left the layout largely the same, but repainted in more modern colors, put in new lighting (including some gorgeous lights from their friends at Mexicali Blues), brought in some high-quality artificial trees, backlit the art on the walls and made a few tweaks to the menu. One of the biggest tweaks was the introduction of birria tacos, here beef tacos dipped in consommé (a way to make tacos even messier!).

Strawberry and Cran-Raz margaritas are made with fresh fruit-infused tequila at Bueno Loco. Photo by Angie Bryan

The Doxsees love jam bands and were playing the Grateful Dead at a reasonable volume during my visit. My drinking companion and I settled in on the very comfortable cushioned barstools with backs, found the purse hooks under the bar, and ordered margaritas. She went with the $11 Cran-Raz Margarita; I opted for the $11 strawberry one. Both are made using tequila that has been infused in-house with fresh fruits, and the results were excellent (not overly sweet as is often the case with fruit-flavored margaritas). The generous portion size was an added bonus.  We also tried two other infused tequilas: jalapeno and pineapple coconut. You know, for research. They were delicious.

There are five other margaritas on the menu, as well as an $8.50 Sangria, an $8 Mexican mule (made with tequila instead of vodka), an $8 Mojito, an $8.50 blood orange gin fizz, and a $10 Vespertino horchata. They have three white wines, two red wines and one sparkling wine by the glass, ranging from $6 to $8.75, and offer five beers on tap and nine bottled or canned options ($3 to $6.75). During happy hour, they sell $5 house margaritas, $3 Pacifico on draft, $4 Estrella Chardonnay, $4 Estrella Cabernet, $2 chips and salsa, and five different $6 appetizers.

At the time of our visit, Bueno Loco was open Wednesday through Sunday, but they ultimately hope to be able to open seven days a week. Their hours fluctuate, so check their Instagram for the most up-to-date information. They have live music at least twice a week and, when weather permits, turn their front parking lot into a dog-friendly patio. Bar manager Scott Knowles, who stayed on from the previous management, is working on a rewrite of the bar menu; Gregin added that they’re looking to get into mocktails and start hosting trivia competitions as well.  “We’ve had a year to hear what our customers want,” she said. “It’s their community – we’re a blank slate.”

Well, a blank slate with vibrant colors and pulsating lights.

Retired diplomat Angie Bryan writes about Maine’s cocktail bars while making as many puns as her editor allows.

Fake trees and bright string lights were among the additions to the decor made by the restaurant’s new owners. Photo by Angie Bryan

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