Fiesta frustrations: local restaurant concerned about construction ahead of Cinco De Mayo

For local Mexican restaurants, Cinco de Mayo is the biggest day of the year.
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 10:21 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- For local Mexican restaurants, Cinco de Mayo is the biggest day of the year.

And that’s why one local hotspot is so frustrated that road construction is putting a major damper on their fiesta for the second year in a row.

For Hacienda owner Alex Rodriguez, this should be the busiest time of the year.

“This is our bread and butter, and now we are going into another summer with additional uncertainty,” Rodriguez said.

In front of the restaurant in Rock Hill, a mess, she says, has been taking a big bite out of the business.

“There are a lot of days where sales are half of what it should be,” she said.

There is construction on Manchester, a MoDOT project to re-pave and add sidewalks. It started last year, taking up part of their property.

“We are now a year in, they said they would be done by this Cinco de Mayo, but we haven’t seen anything in a few months,” she said.

Rodriguez says they rarely see workers.

“No construction workers, yeah, it’s hard, it’s hard,” said Rodriguez.

Their patio is a major draw, and she says the cones, the orange fence, and even a giant pool of water nearby have all been unappetizing.

“There is dust, noise, the equipment is here for spans of time,” she said.

She worries they’ll face the same fate as other nearby businesses and be forced to close.

“It’s hard to tell we are even open, and its looks like that for so long,” she said.

News 4 took Rodriguez’s concerns straight to MoDOT. However, they said they could not comment about Hacienda specifically since they’re currently engaged in litigation over how much to compensate the business for its losses.

“There have been a lot of hands-on deck to hit that timeframe we are shooting for,” said Ryan Pearcy with MoDOT.

Pearcy says they are on track to finish much of the project on time, by July, with some parts slated to wrap up by October.

Mindful, he says, of the impact on local businesses.

“We come through, we let them know when we are starting, when the completion date will be done and we never block access, and when we will be here and when we will be out of the way,” he said.

Making the streets compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and, he says, better for all.

“It’s not just forming a sidewalk and putting it down, there is utilities and walls and everything needs to come together before it can be nice and clean,” he said.

MoDOT confirms it won’t be working near the property on May 5. Rodriquez says they’ll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo despite the construction.

“We plan on partying, as usual, will have a DJ all day, and drink specials like we always do,” Rodriguez said.

Construction on Manchester will continue west of Lindbergh even after this year.

Like with any holiday, officials urge safety if you’re celebrating, especially with the construction.