WICHITA — After not quite nine years in business, La Mesa Mexican Restaurant has closed.
Co-owner Mario Quiroz says his restaurant, which was at 6960 W. 21st, couldn't weather the economy and new nearby competition.
"I don't see the end," he says of the recession.
And when Senor Tequila opened at 21st and Tyler recently, Quiroz says his business immediately dropped by 20 percent.
"People really want to go and try the new business in the area," he says.
Winter is always La Mesa's toughest season, Quiroz says, so he decided to try and lease or sell his space rather than fight to stay open.
He's getting the 6,500-square-foot building ready to put on the market.
Quiroz still co-owns Frida's Mexican Grill at 1580 W. 21st just east of 21st and Amidon.
"Frida's is getting much better," he says of business.
He says the 2,200-square-foot restaurant, which also has a 5,000-square-foot party room, is more manageable, especially with fewer employees.
"It's easier to make it work."