REOPENING EL TORO MEXICAN GRILL

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Downtown Alliance

‘I WANTED TO GET SOME BUSINESS, AND GET MY PEOPLE WORKING TOO’: CARLOS CORREA ON REOPENING EL TORO MEXICAN GRILL

When the pandemic hit New York in March, Carlos Correa shut down El Toro Mexican Grill, his popular restaurant at 69 New Street. Eventually, he decided to partially reopen so that neighbors could have his Milanesa sandwiches and chicken flautas brought directly to their doors. “We do a lot of deliveries,” he told the Downtown Alliance, even though “the street was dead — no traffic, nothing.”

With depleted sales figures, Correa had to let go of half his staff and rely on a skeleton crew. Thanks to expanded outdoor dining rules in the city’s phase II reopening, Correa was at least able to install tables on the sidewalk. “I’ve got a couple in front of my place,” he said. “I wanted to get some business, and get my people working too.” But even that hit a snag on account of construction work nearby. “We’ll have to put some signs all over the street. I’m completely hiding right here. There’s scaffolding for almost half a block.”

Despite the many setbacks –

Correa’s still chugging along. He’s rigged up his place for social distancing, with glass partitions separating the cashier from the diners, and staffers outfitted with masks and gloves. Every day, he and his remaining staff do temperature checks to ensure no one’s sick. “You never know,” he said. “It’s for our protection, and our customers, too.”

Speaking of customers, Correa says his regulars have been vocal about offering their thanks. “Everybody is calling me on the phone,” he said, “‘We miss you guys so much! We’re missing the food! Thank you for reopening!’ Things like that.” He’s hoping things pick up.

My LM

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Grace Capobianco, CEO/Publisher of Downtown Media & Production was born to be a visionary. She has spent the majority of her life working, developing and marketing innovative media products that not only engage and inform but also bring entire communities together. Utilizing her personal vision as a professional guide, Grace started her first company, Tropical Publishing, when she was just 27 years old and from this moment on, she knew that entrepreneurship was her passion. On a perpetual quest to bring innovative and relevant news to communities, she also created, developed and published the first ever Chamber of Commerce magazine for the Palm Beaches, The South Florida Office Guide. Evolving within the realm of publishing, she moved on to launch Up The Coast magazine in the 1980’s, a guide to Jupiter, in north Florida, where the population aggrandized from 9,000 to more than 70,000 today, and then continued to hone in on niche markets with the launch of publications like Alternative Medicine and NewBeauty. Simultaneously, she launched ATSI, a telecommunications company, which sold Mitel and Siemens products to her publishing clients. The idea of Downtown Magazine NYC was born for Grace in the wake of the devastation of 9/11. A Lower Manhattan resident at this time, Grace saw firsthand the incredible sense of community the neighborhood had demonstrated during these trying times, as well as its immense strength and perseverance. She explored every angle of launching a magazine that would speak to this community but initially felt the timing was just too soon. It wasn’t until 2010 that Grace felt the community was ready to hear its voice and launched Downtown Magazine NYC.