Cinco de Mayo is in full swing at Viva Zapata Mexican Restaurant in Westport.

A late lunchtime crowd is enjoying the patio as staff gears up for one of the restaurant's busiest nights of the year.

"This is our St. Patrick's Day," joked Bob O'Mahony, co-owner of Viva Zapata.

Nearby, his wife Maryellen was stocking a cooler on the patio full of Coronas, Dos Equis and other beers of choice on Cinco de Mayo -- the celebration of Mexico's independence.

The O'Mahonys, of New Canaan, own the restaurant with their friends, Harry and Ann Brady of Westport.

After last year's Cinco de Mayo -- which was celebrated under a tent due to rain -- Viva is in luck as the sun is shining and a cool breeze is blowing.

One patron, acknowledging it is Cinco de Mayo, sums it up: "This is the best place to be."