Local restaurant making changes to stay afloat during pandemic

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A local restaurant that’s had to close twice because of the pandemic is hoping a city program can help it expand its seating.

“It gives us an opportunity to have outside seating and actually we had already been doing that because of the curbside and we decided hey why not just put some chairs outside and actually its been doing pretty well,” said Cici Garcia, Connie’s Mexico Cafe Manager.

Garcia said there have been several changes to restaurant operations. They’ve put up barriers between booths to try and seat more customers safely, plus opened the restaurant on Monday’s. Now they’re hoping the “Open Air ICT” program will give them the chance to use outdoor space to seat additional customers.

“When we heard about ‘Open Air ICT’, we were kind of doing that here and there,” said Garcia. “We are pretty excited about it, and it gives people that option to go outside rather than coming inside and eating.”

Garcia said the restaurant frequently gets calls about outdoor seating options and she is hoping the program will bring in more business.

“Business was kind of slow because you know we wanted to make sure safety was first and we also had the back open as well, but it’s exciting because now we can use every table and it gives people more reassurance that we are just trying to make this a safe place for them,” said Garcia.

The city said so far seven businesses have completed the application, but several have called to inquire about it. For more information on “Open Air ICT” or to apply click here.

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