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New restaurant to open on Upper Valley in Clark County

Springfield residents will have a new option for Mexican food by the end of this year, after renovations are completed at a site on Upper Valley Pike.

El Speedy Gonzales is expected to open in December in a location at 1100 Upper Valley Pike that most recently housed a KFC franchise, said Jose Ayala, the restaurant’s new owner. The new restaurant will serve traditional Mexican food, focusing on customers who want to dine in but also want to be served quickly, he said.

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Documents filed with the city of Springfield show the business is seeking a liquor permit for beer, wine and mixed drinks.

The new restaurant is expected to employ about eight people. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sundays, according to city documents.

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The restaurant is undergoing significant renovations, including installing new windows, new flooring, new kitchen appliances and other improvements.

“There was a lot of replacement done to the building,” Ayala said.

Ayala is from Marion, Ohio, but is familiar with Springfield. He said he chose to open the restaurant on Upper Valley Pike because of steady traffic along the road and few similar businesses in the area.

A large sign was recently placed in front of the business telling potential customers that the restaurant will be opening soon.

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Upper Valley Pike was once the primary retail corridor in Clark County but has faced challenges in recent years as many retail businesses have shifted to Bechtle Avenue. Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hosted a grand opening for their new store on Bechtle Avenue, and Rue 21 has said they are closing their location at the Upper Valley Mall and will open a new store on Bechtle Avenue this month.

Despite those challenges, several business owners on Upper Valley Pike have previously told the Springfield News-Sun they have been successful on the corridor, in part because of steady traffic and cheaper rents compared to Bechtle Avenue.

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