If a sit-down meal with a happy-hour beverage appeals to you more than a fried Twinkie on a stick, the Pima County Fairgrounds has you covered.

The fairgrounds will open a new restaurant this spring, The Sunset Cantina Bar and Grill, just in time for the Pima County Fair.

The restaurant will stay open year-round during weekends and other special events, too, hoping to draw business from the residents of southeast Tucson and the communities of Vail, Rita Ranch, Corona de Tucson and Sahuarita.

Formerly known as La Cantina, the newly remodeled restaurant and kitchen are at 11300 S. Houghton Road.

The American-cuisine menu will include chicken and bacon quesadillas, pulled pork sliders, burgers, salads and fries. The signature dish will be chicken, bacon and cheese sandwiches served on ciabatta bread with garlic fries. Sunset Cantina said it has a "secret and surprise" signature dessert in the works as well.

The grill is tentatively scheduled to open on April 4 at 4 p.m.

During the fair, April 18-28, Sunset Cantina will offer daily specials and $2 drink specials during a 4 to 6 p.m. happy hour, as well as faster menu options and takeout.

Indoor and outdoor settings will be available, along with five large-screen televisions, live music, karaoke, dance lessons and entertainment.

The restaurant will be available for rental for weddings and private events, said Launa Rabago, Pima County Fair entertainment and marketing manager. The restaurant can accommodate groups of up to 200 people indoors, or 500 when outdoor seating in an open courtyard is added. A full-service catering department also will be available.

Sunset Cantina will be scheduling special events for future Saturdays, such as car shows and swap meets, Rabago said.

The enterprise is a part of the Southwestern Fair Commission Inc.

Ashley Grove is a NASA Space Grant intern at the University of Arizona. Contact her at agrove@azstarnet.com or 573-4674.