Deciding to move a restaurant is not a choice that can be made lightly. Just a few times of late have Muncie restaurants moved location, with at least two of these – Uncle Monte’s and A Taste of the South – ultimately not surviving the relocation, although it is debatable whether the move was in any way responsible. Several years back Slater Hawkins shifted to the Northwest Plaza from its spot on McGalliard Road and Steak ‘N’ Shake moved further west on McGalliard from Wheeling Avenue. Most people probably did not even notice when one of the most popular restaurants in Muncie, Bob Evans, had to be moved 45 feet to the east in the early stages of construction at the Northwest Plaza in 2007, when it was decided that it would be too near to Applebee’s.
Manuel Rodriguez is quite confident about relocating his Granville Avenue restaurant Ciudad Colonial – where it has been since the mid 2000s – to the nearby Muncie Mall. Later in the fall Ciudad will take over the spot situated at the rear of the mall that was previously briefly made use of by a barbecue restaurant. Rodriguez says that if making a move was ever going to happen for him, now is definitely the best time. “I know that I have a pretty good clientele right now,” Rodriguez notes. “In eight years I think I’ve built something nice, something good for our customers. I deal with customers every day. I’m that kind of person. I’m in sight every day. I’m at the register every day. I’m not the type of owner who goes to the restaurant every few days.”
Rodriguez adds that his time at Ciudad and its downtown sister restaurant Casa de Sol means that he can be anywhere in Muncie and everybody will recognize him. Rodriguez says that believes that Ciudad making a move later in the fall will be a less intimidating prospect that starting up yet another new restaurant, as he did with Casa del Sol two years ago. He also says that the opening of Casa del Sol resulted in Ciudad going downhill a little for a couple of months.
Rodriguez notes that Ciudad has been in its current location for eight years, during which time many other businesses have come and gone. Opening a second restaurant downtown ultimately paid off for the restaurant owner and he hopes that the move will do likewise for Ciudad, which he admits is not as busy as its sister restaurant. Being downtown and in the mall is a big plus for Casa de Sol. Rodriguez says that the volume of people that go into Casa de Sol at lunchtime reflects the location, and that when that restaurant opened downtown the customers did not return to Ciudad. He is hoping that moving the latter into a similar location will have a similar effect.