Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Frisch's to replace Mexican restaurant

By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FLORENCE - A popular Mexican restaurant in Florence is closing its doors after selling its site to Frisch's restaurants.

Jalapenos Restaurante Mexicano at 7908 Dream St. will close at the end of the month, said general manager Monico Lucero.

Frisch's plans to build a Big Boy restaurant on the site. Construction is expected to begin Aug. 1 and be complete by January, said Karen Maier, Frisch's vice president of marketing.

When the new restaurant opens, Frisch's will close its restaurant at Dixie Highway and U.S. 42 in Florence, Maier said. That restaurant opened in 1970. The location on Ky. 18 and Turfway Road will remain open, she said. Frisch's has 122 locations in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

Jalapeno's, which had been at the Dream Street location for seven years, sold the building and land to Frisch's last year. The restaurant then leased the building back from Frisch's, Lucero said.

"We knew we had to move out, but we were surprised by the timing," said Lucero.

Frisch's gave the restaurant two months notice, he said.

Jalapenos owner Martin Lucero said he wanted to find a new Florence location but was busy opening a Louisville location.

"Our customers are not too happy with us," Martin Lucero said. "But we'll be back in the near future."

In the meantime, the Luceros, who are brothers, plan to open some type of Mexican restaurant in an old Hardee's building, also owned by Frisch's, at Philadelphia and Fifth streets in Covington. The location is too small for a Jalapenos, but might become a Mexican fast-food restaurant, they said.

Jalapenos has two locations in Lexington, one in Richmond and one in Kenwood, the brothers said.

"Hopefully, in the near future, we can get a place in Florence," Monico Lucero said.


E-mail bkelly@enquirer.com

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