Local

Noblesville restaurant closes after almost 25 years, cites city’s road project

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — It was the start of memories and love after a local Mexican restaurant cherished by the Noblesville community announced it’s closing down.

Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen says they’re going to build a roundabout near the restaurant as part of a large road-expansion project. The restaurant called El Camino Real, located on South 10th Street, has been around for nearly 25 years, and some residents say that for them its closure is like losing a family member.

On Tuesday, families passed through the parking lot only to find out that the Mexican restaurant was closed.

Tricia Shoemaker said, “First time we ate here, my oldest was a baby, and we’ve been coming ever since.”

She added, “I was really sad because I was hoping to have it one last time and just step inside one last time and see all the folks in there.”

Bill McCormick said, “It’s just part of the community. It’s part of you. It’s part of your family, and it’s just sad.”

A place that once was packed on any given day is being forced to close its doors so that the city can move the Reimagine Pleasant Street project forward. The restaurant, along with a Dairy Queen and some homes near Pleasant and Tenth streets, will be gone. The business Firehouse Pizza also has closed.

The city project aims to ease traffic by providing an additional east-west corridor from State Road 37 to the west across the White River to State Road 32.

Shoemaker said, “It’s sad. It’s bittersweet. I do feel like there’s a lot of traffic that goes through the downtown area and hopefully it will alleviate some of that, but it’s sad that these businesses are going to have to close.”

The Republican mayor says they’ve worked with the restaurant to find some options to relocate and provide some resources. “Our economic team has met with them one on one. Our engineering staff has met with them one on one about two years ago to have this conversation, so this has been an ongoing conversation knowing that this date would come sooner rather than later,” Jensen said.

McCormick said he understands the need for drivers. “A city like Noblesville it has to grow to have progress or else it’s going to die, and it is sad seeing some of the staples are leaving that you grew up with.”

But for some, memories of celebrating milestones, eating delicious food, or making new friends will remain for years to come. Kennedy McCormick said, “It was always people you knew there. It was always crowded, so a lot of people are going to miss it.”

On Facebook, the restaurant shared that it is thankful for the community.