By Hannah Hilyard
KENOSHA, Wisconsin (WISN) — Kenosha’s Uptown Restaurant served its first customers Wednesday in nearly a year.
Arsonists destroyed the business along with many others in August 2020 following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Since then, the owners have been determined to reopen.
“Today is our opening day after 11 months,” owner Yolanda Hernandez said.
The restaurant opened at a new location on 75th Street in Kenosha.
There was excitement all around.
“We all prayed for this day to come,” returning customer Maurice Rodriguez said.
Yet there are reminders that just a mile from its new location, the original Uptown Restaurant was destroyed during the unrest last summer.
“We have an invested interest in 22nd Avenue. We know a lot of people. We have friends and there are people that need a place like a Mexican restaurant and a grocery store,” said Abel Alejo, owner of Uptown’s Estrella Supermarket.
“We hope to go back on the 22nd Avenue where we used to be, but it’s a developer that is going to tear down all the businesses that were damaged over there, and he has plans to rebuild, and our plans are to move back over there,” Hernandez said.
So for now, they’ll enjoy their temporary spot, knowing there’s more work ahead.
“I like to push forward. I don’t take a step back to look at what’s happened. No, I’m trying to look at the future. It’s brighter,” Alejo said.
They believe it’ll be at least a year before they are able to get back on 22nd Avenue.
Their temporary spot is open seven days a week at 40th Avenue and 75th Street.
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