PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The impact of COVID-19 has hit Hispanic small businesses throughout the city. This has caused business owners to see customers in the single digits for entire days.
However, a few restaurants saw a rise in hungry customers Tuesday.
Laura Tafoya, co-owner of Los Cabos Cantina & Grill, said three simple words were the cause for so much foot traffic.
“Cinco de Mayo,” Tafoya said. “Peoria loves Cinco de Mayo.”
Tafoya said the city’s love for Cinco de Mayo caused Los Cabos to receive more business on Tuesday than in the past month.
El Taco Loco Mexican Street Food is another one of the city’s restaurants to see an influx in orders. This caused them to implement a 40 minute wait time for food.
Tafoya said the spike in business on this particular day shows how much the Mexican culture is valued.
“I think people love Mexican food in this area,” Tafoya said. “I think they really embrace the culture and they enjoy the music and they enjoy the ambiance.”
March 5 traditionally commemorates the 1862 battle of Puebla, highlighting the Mexican army’s victory over the French. However, somewhere down the line more emphasis has been placed on Hispanic food and drinks, making the day appear more festive.
Taylor Tribley is one of the customers who came out in the rain Tuesday afternoon for Los Cabos’ food specials. She said celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Mexican food is a good way to relax and try to bring normalcy back into her life.
“I think it’s something to keep your spirits up, it’s fun to do,” Tribley said. “Get a couple of margaritas and sit on my porch even though it’s raining and drink up and just have a good day.”
“They just enjoy celebrating the culture and it’s fun it sort of signals the beginning of summer,” Tafoya added.
Tafoya also said Los Cabos had to postpone, what would have been its 6th year celebrating, its annual Cinco de Mayo parking lot party due to Covid-19. She said it’s disappointing, but she’s hopeful they can reschedule it for September where it’s closer to Mexican Independence day.
“I think that the festival’s actually more appropriate to just celebrate Mexican independence,” Tafoya said.