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Ribbon cutting for El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant

A new Mexican restaurant is now open for business in Lennox.

 Located in the city’s former senior center, El Mariachi brings another dining option to residents of the rapidly growing community. 

A ribbon cutting will be held this Saturday, July 13th at 11 a.m.

“We’re thrilled to have another restaurant come to Lennox,” said Sharese Ihnen, President of the Lennox Area Development Corporation (LADC). “More dining and retail options is something we’ve heard time and time again from locals when we ask them what businesses they want to see brought to town. It is now something that we can deliver upon thanks to the strong housing and population growth Lennox has seen in the last few years. Having more people—meaning more potential customers—makes these things possible.”

El Mariachi is owned by Efrain Lopez. Lopez and his family own and operate several successful Mexican restaurants in communities across South Dakota including Winner and Chamberlain. 

Lopez spent nearly a year working with the LADC and the City of Lennox searching for an appropriate location in the community before settling on the senior center building. Roughly another year was spent renovating the space. 

“It is a challenge to open a new restaurant,” Lopez said, “but when you find a good spot, it’s great to work with people in the community who want to support you.” 

Lopez’s difficulty in finding a landing spot in Lennox was not unique to him. Lack of appropriate, affordable space has long been an impediment to greater business growth in the community.

“There’s not a lot of spec commercial space available in Lennox, particularly space that includes a kitchen,” said Nate Vander Plaats, Lennox’s City Administrator. “The senior center checked a lot of boxes, and it took a collaborative effort between several organizations to find an appropriate alternative space for seniors to continue their activities and have a restaurant take over the building. But when you have an entrepreneur with a track record like Efrain looking at coming town, you go that extra mile to make things possible.”

El Mariachi will be open 7 days a week. The restaurant’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

El Mariachi has a large menu that includes familiar favorites like fajitas, burritos, tacos, and much more. Space is available to accommodate large groups and private parties. 

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