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Updated Apr 28, 2014 - 9:28 pm

Lime shortage could give bars Cinco de Mayo problems

PHOENIX -- Cinco de Mayo is coming up, and you may not see something familiar with your beers and margaritas this year.

That's because heavy rains in parts of Mexico have led to a lime shortage that has driven up the wholesale price of limes to $100 for a 40-pound crate.

Some bars and restaurants in California are running so low on limes that they're offering 25-cent drinks to customers who bring in bags filled with them.

There's been no shortage at Larry's Cocktails in Phoenix. The popular neighborhood watering hole near Cave Creek and Beardsley roads has been getting regular shipment, though it has seen a change in the quality.

"They're just dry. There's not a shortage, they're just dry," said bartender Jim Smith. He said that the problem isn't big enough for the bar to complain to its supplier.

Smith said that his bar goes through a lot of limes to please customers who want them.

"There's a few drinks, margaritas or something, but that's about it," he said, though he later admitted that he isn't a lime fan. "I figure that if you've got to put lime in the drink, it's not worth drinking."

Smith said the bar will serve lemons with the drinks if they run out of limes.

Customer Mark Anderson said he doesn't care if the bar runs out of limes. But if it runs out of Coronas, that's another story.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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