Owners of DSM's El Chero fight for liquor license in hopes to stay open
El Chero Restaurant on Des Moines' east side opened about three months ago but the owners are fighting to stay afloat.
Driving the news: Drink sales are important for restaurant financials and the couple — Hans Gutierrez and Ziomara Mejia — are struggling while they attempt to win city approval for their liquor license, Gutierrez said.
- A city ordinance requires a 75-foot distance from parks for a business that sells alcohol.
- Their place is within 40 feet of Ashfield Park.
State of play: Gutierrez and Mejia met while working in another metro restaurant.
- He was born in Honduras and she was raised in El Salvador where she helped her mom sell street food.
- They got married about a year ago and are expecting their first child.
What's next: They will go before the DSM Zoning Board of Adjustment next week for a variance to the city's separation requirement.
- If approved, El Chero will sell margaritas and other alcoholic drinks as quickly as possible, Gutierrez said.
The menu: Dozens of culturally-inspired eats that include breakfasts with eggs, beans and cheese tortillas.
- The El Chero is one of the restaurant's specials that includes grilled chicken, shrimp, fried onion, guacamole, rice and bean.
What I ate: I was interested in the pupusas — thick griddle cakes stuffed with cheese and other goodies. They are a food Mejia sold as a child.
- I tried one with spinach and another with zucchini ($2.80 each).
💬 Thought bubble: Delicious.
- When I return, I hope to purchase an adult beverage in celebration of a restaurant that's unlike any other in the metro.
Hours: 9am-10pm daily.
- 1832 Hubbell Ave.
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