Updated: Mexican Village to close downtown Fargo location, consolidate into one restaurant
The closing of the downtown location was announced via Facebook. All of Mexican Village's operations will be consolidated to the business's south Fargo location along 45th St. S.
FARGO — Mexican Village announced Wednesday, Feb. 1, that it will close its Main Avenue location in downtown Fargo and consolidate into one restaurant location along 45th Street South.
The announcement was made Wednesday morning via Facebook. "Mexican Village reluctantly announces the closing of the downtown location at 814 Main Ave. and will consolidate all operations at the 45th St. S. location," the post read.
The post continued on to welcome patrons of the downtown location to visit Mexican Village's south Fargo location at 3155 45th St. S. "The owners want to thank the millions of customers who have allowed us to serve them over the past 52 years," the post stated. "We would like to invite any downtown customers to visit the 45th location, all gift certificates are valid no matter where they were purchased."
According to its website, Mexican Village was founded in 1970. The business said employees at its Main Ave. location will be offered employment at the south Fargo restaurant. "We also want to thank the thousands of employees who have been a part of the Mexican Village family over the years and will offer positions to current employees who would like to move to the south location," the post read.
The post concluded to state that the downtown restaurant is available for lease as a fully-furnished restaurant or for other uses. Those interested were invited to contact company management or developer Kevin Bartram of Mutchler Bartram Architects.
Signage posted to the door of the restaurant shared the same message with patrons.
Mexican Village was voted by readers of The Forum as one of the top five Mexican restaurants in the area in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The move to close the downtown location was “primarily a business decision,” Mexican Village co-owner Steve Bush told The Forum Wednesday afternoon. “Our sales downtown have fallen off in the last few years for a variety of reasons,” he said. “We just felt that what was best for our employees and the business going forward was to combine those two operations."
The south Fargo location has a larger customer base as well, he noted. "It just made sense to move to that spot,” Bush said.
Additionally, the south Fargo location has made a stronger recover from the COVID-19 pandemic than did the downtown shop. "We've definitely bounced back from the COVID years much stronger on 45th,” he continued.
Still, staffing has been a challenge at both locations, though that too is an area where the south Fargo store performed better. "That's been very difficult,” Bush said when asked about the staffing challenges businesses in the area face. "Certainly (we) have never completely recovered in terms of staffing, downtown in particular."
The downtown restaurant was Mexican Village’s original location. It had been in business for 52 years. Bush and his wife Karen are the co-owners of Mexican Village. They acquired the business in 2002. Both originally began working for Mexican Village back in 1987 when they started college.
Moving forward, Bush hopes to retain as much of his downtown staff as possible. "First and foremost, we're hopeful that we can find positions for all of our employees who want to move. We've offered that and we'll do our best to make that happen,” he said.
He also expressed both his "heartfelt thanks" and wishes that downtown Fargo patrons would be willing to visit the south Fargo location "We're hopeful that some of our downtown customers will give us a try on 45th," he said. "We're hopeful that those folks who have been loyal downtown will at least come down and try us once. Hopefully we can give them good service as well."