People traveling Elm Street may notice the giant colorful letters that spell out HAYS in front of Cancun Mexican Grill, but the project won’t be done for another month.
"In Mexico, every small town has letters like these, that spell out the town’s name," said Jorge Lopez, manager of Cancun, 1011 Elm St.
Made especially for the restaurant by an artist in Mexico, Lopez says the giant metal letters arrived about the same time as work got underway to pave the north parking lot with concrete. Striping should start in the next week, so for now guests are parking in the south parking lot.
With Gov. Laura Kelly’s recent changes to the Kansas stay-home order, Lopez says business has been steady for the 14 employees.
"We’re sitting people 6 feet away for safety issues, so they have their own space," he said. "Thanks to God we’re being supported by the local Hays people. Me, as a manager, I really appreciate it."
The restaurant is offering specials in the form of Family Packs, which are meals that can feed four to five people, priced from $19.99 each to $29.99 each. They feature a range of side dishes, including rice, beans, tortillas, chips and salsa, with entree choices of grilled chicken, tacos, enchiladas or fajitas.
"With these rough times, we understand that people are unemployed and have people to feed," Lopez said.
In front of the restaurant Friday afternoon, Lopez wasn’t sure how tall the letters are, but a little less than 5’9", which is his height, he said.
When it’s all said and done, the colorful metal letters, which bear a variety of Aztec symbols, will be attached to a concrete base about 18 inches high, he said.
"There will be lights," said Lopez, "on the front and the back."