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So it's Valentine's Day and you don't have a sweetheart? Morelia, a lively colonial town, just one hour by air or four hours by road, west of Mexico City, has a solution for you.

Woman touches upside-down statue of St. Anthony in San Miguelito Restaurant.
Woman touches upside-down statue of St. Anthony in San Miguelito Restaurant.
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

San Miguelito, a restaurant, bar, museum and art gallery, in the southern end of Morelia, is well known for its delicious Mexican cuisine, eclectic decor and a unique service for the lovelorn. (More about that later.) At night, tiny white lights decorate the exterior, while fountains and palm trees add a romantic touch.

No two rooms are alike. San Miguelito collects crafts from several Mexican states. Nearly all of the furniture, arts and crafts in the restaurant are for sale.

Life-size angels, Madonnas in niches and antler chandeliers decorate the main dining room. Made from wood, steel, rock and bronze, the tables are all different, as well as the crystal, tableware and chairs. One table's base is a half-ton marble horse. Another's base is comprised of angels. Two 150-kilogram bells anchor the Independence Table.

San Miguelito menu

For an appetizer, try the Aztec Salad, made with fresh corn, lettuce, zucchini, roasted red peppers, fresh cheese and coriander vinaigrette. For the entrée, enjoy the Filete Tierra Caliente, beef sirloin with green tomato salsa, on a corn tortilla, topped with black beans and straw potatoes. (San Miguelito uses purified water for washing greens and vegetables.) Other entrées include grilled chicken, beef, fish, shrimp and Mexican specialties.

A popular room is Bar Silvetis, dedicated to the Silvetis family, which boasts several generations of famous bullfighters. Posters and photographs of matadors pay homage to the family.

Private dining rooms

There are several private rooms. The Altar of Conversations room features a massive wooden copy of an altar from Santa Prisca church in Taxco. Room of the Conspiracies is popular for business meetings, parties and wedding celebrations.

All of which brings us to the final room, of special interest to lonely hearts: Rincon de las Solteronas. Although it translates as "Spinsters' Corner," owner Cynthia Martinez assures us that it works equally well for bachelors.

Single woman asks St. Anthony for a spouse.
Single woman asks St. Anthony for a spouse.
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

The reason the lovelorn come here, is to solicit help from St. Anthony, the patron saint of the unmarried. Surrounding the tables, on the mantle, in cupboards and hanging from the ceiling, are more than 500 statues of the saint. Made from plastic, wood, glass, ceramic, stone, metal and other materials, they range from thumbnail-size to taller than a basketball player.

Match maker

"To motivate San Antonio to do his job, we turn him upside-down," explains Martinez. "Tradition requires supplicants to leave thirteen coins, light a votive candle and register their personal data in the book of Petitions, Miracles and Thanksgiving."

Does it work? "We already have eleven marriages confirmed with photographs, and more recorded in 13 books, filled with petitions and thanksgivings," states Martinez.

But is she married? "Not yet, but I'm waiting for my boyfriend to take the next step," she responds. "I hope to have an answer by the time you publish your story, so I can send you an invitation to my wedding!"

In the meantime, all of the St. Anthony statues will remain upside-down until he completes his Cupid tasks. And none of them are for sale. If you want to pursue the cause at home, Martinez sells paperclip-size miniatures.


San Miguelito: www.sanmiguelito.com.mx

Mexico Tourism Board: www.visitmexico.com

More things to see & do in Mexico's colonial cities:

Queretaro Mexico Trip

Guanajuato Travel Guide

Patzcuaro Mexico - What to See and Do

San Miguel de Allende Mexico Holiday

Mexican Candy Shops, Markets and Dulcerias