The MCW Partnership joined with the Phillips Partnership to present the grand opening celebration for Carne Asada, a new Mexican restaurant at Chicago-Lake and the latest in a series of major improvements at the intersection, which has been a major focus of effort by both partnerships.
Carne Asada is co-owned by Dr. Isaac Felemovicius, a surgeon practicing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and the grand opening underscored the hospital’s long history of community involvement.
Speakers at the event saluted the blend of neighborhood action and strategic investments that has had proven dramatically successful in creating jobs, lowering crime, improving the housing stock and providing public amenities like the Midtown Greenway.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin were among the partnership members who turned out to celebrate the grand opening.
Kudos to Community
“Carne Asada is a great result of the efforts by many in the community to fight crime and build entrepreneurship,” said Mayor Rybak.
“At a time when we’re doing all we can to persuade Allina to move hundreds of jobs just across the street, the timing of this gathering couldn’t be better,” added Commissioner McLaughlin.
“The whole community is here showing its support and recognizing the years of efforts that have gotten us to this point of recreating Chicago-Lake as a great corner once again.”
MCW Partnership members Robert Lilligren and Eric Eoloff both elaborated on the community’s concerted effort to improve the intersection.
“A lot of people in this room have invested a lot of elbow grease in turning this neighborhood around,” said Eoloff.
Carne Asada is in Lilligren’s City Council ward and part of the neighborhood in which he has lived for 22 years.
He said of Carne Asada co-owner Ernesto Reyes, “Ernesto was one of the very first people to come in here and invest his dollars and energy. When he opened up Me Gusta at Fourth and Lake, he was truly a pioneer for the kind of entrepreneurship we see flourishing today.”
Both Reyes and Felemovicius are natives of Mexico.
“I am very proud of what my people are doing here with hard work and a belief in this community,” Reyes said as he introduced the gathered crowd of more than 50 to several members of the Latino community.
“This restaurant gives the example of our values and the way we want to live in this area, and I thank all of you who have turned out to honor our contribution.”
Dr. Felemovicius said that Carne Asada would help to connect the Latino community with the major employers in the vicinity. “We have made this place something special,” he said. “And we look forward to your stopping by to support us.”