Carrie Rengers

Braum’s to move in, El Rodeo to move around the corner

El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant has to move from its longtime spot on East Central, but it won’t go far.
El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant has to move from its longtime spot on East Central, but it won’t go far. file photo

Earlier Thursday, Have You Heard? reported that a new Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy is going to open on the west side.

There’s also a second Braum’s deal that’s more of a work in progress. It’s done, but the chain doesn’t have any details on it yet.

Earlier this month, Krista Racine of J.P. Weigand & Sons and Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate handled a deal for a Braum’s site at 5730 E. Central.

That happens to be where El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant is now and has been for a number of years.

“I have to (move) because they want to build,” owner Christina Martinez says. “I was mad because I just got the restaurant.”

Martinez moved from Boston to buy the restaurant in March. She says her brothers have worked at the business for years and knew the owners wanted to sell.

“They told me it was a great opportunity,” she says. “Now I want to go back to Boston.”

Except that’s not what she’s going to do.

Martinez is going to move the restaurant just around the corner to the former Toni D’s Deli & Catering space at Carriage Parkway.

That deal is not finalized yet, but Utter says he’s helping Martinez and expects the lease to be finalized within a week and for the new restaurant to be ready by early February.

Toni D’s has been vacant for a few years.

“We’ve come close to leasing it a couple of times,” Utter says.

The space is 2,100 square feet, which compares to El Rodeo’s 5,800 square feet.

Utter says the smaller space will be better for the business.

“There was way too much building for them.”

Martinez says she fears she’ll lose a lot of money with the move.

“It’s terrible when I think about it.”

She says two months after buying the business, she learned the landlord was going to make a change.

“Nobody (told) me anything,” Martinez says.

“That’s OK,” she adds. “I believe in God, and God will take care of me.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers