History of Elsa's Bad Juan®


Four ‘idiot’ lawyers buy Elsa’s® Mexican Restaurant on Linden Ave. in Dayton, Ohio, from the daughter of original owner, Elsa Bonner. Only one of those ‘idiots’ remains today. An enviable taste-testing panel is recruited, spending many late nights in the mixology lab to formulate the perfect tequila-lime partnership, thus resulting in the birth of the margarita orginally labeled "Bad John."

Migrant Mexican communities working the fruit and vegetable fields in Northwest Ohio and Lower Michigan, shared a margarita and tequila that was truly authentic. This recipe has since evolved to a premium margarita, now called Bad Juan®.

The name "Bad John" hailed from twofold inspiration: one of the partners in Elsa’s® ownership (one that got away while he still could), and the 1961 Jimmy Dean folktale ballad, “Big Bad John.” Someone must’ve known this creation would become a legend among margaritas, as Big Bad John was to his fellow miners.


The moniker of the already infamous margarita is changed. Like condensation on the side of your glass, the name “Bad Juan®” rolls right off your tongue.

One, tiny Elsa’s® location is not enough to meet the demands of the mob of Mexican food and Bad Juan® lovers in Dayton. A second restaurant, Elsa’s® Mexican Restaurant on Far Hills Ave., opens its doors.


It’s been long enough. A plan is devised to unleash the Bad Juan® phenomenon on the rest of America.


After careful preparation, the first bottles of Bad Juan® hit the shelves in what Heidelberg Distributors of Dayton calls, “the fastest selling new (wine/alcohol) product in the History of (Dayton) Heidelberg!” Today Bad Juan® is currently sold in supermarkets, local retailers and bars or restaurants, in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo. Order by the glass at the Tampa Bay Times Forum (Tampa Lightning) Arena in Tampa, Florida, or at Elsa’s Mexican Restaurant in Lutz, Florida. Coming soon to your favorite grocery in Tampa, Florida!