Jalapenos could open next weekend; Sunflower Auto Plaza to open down the road
The wait might finally be over for the return of Mexican food to Tonganoxie. And down the street from that restaurant, another location will have a slew of cars for sale in its lot.
Tonganoxie residents have been waiting the last few months for Jalapenos, at 215 West St., to open its doors. Major renovations to the outside of the building, as well as inside, have been ongoing. And owner Francisco Mendez, who owns El Mezcal restaurants in Lawrence, had hoped to open around the beginning of the year. But Mendez is waiting on a part for the restaurant’s walk-in cooler. If that piece arrives, as it’s expected to in the coming days, Mendez hopes to be open next weekend — just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. If the part doesn’t arrive, Mendez will continue to play the waiting game, but renovations inside the restaurant — including an overhaul in the downstairs dining area that includes new booths and tile — are complete.
Down the street to the south on U.S. Highway 24-40, Kelly Smith of Piper is overhauling the former Casey’s General Store at U.S. 24-40 and Kansas Highway 16 to make way for Sunflower Auto Plaza. Smith, who has been a wholesale automobile dealer, is opening his first car lot.
Smith is gutting the interior of the store and plans to update the exterior of the building. He anticipates having a maximum of 15 vehicles in the lot for sale at any one time and also is planning to have another building in Tonganoxie where additional vehicles will be stored and mechanical work will be done.
If renovations go according to plan, Smith plans to open the business in May.