With the damage pending and declining sales hitting the store's bottom line, the ownership group decided to close it permanently, but were working on another concept almost immediately.
"It’s possible you’ll see something else pop up," an employee told Fort Thomas Matters in August of last year.
Now we know what that concept is.
|This is an advertisement.|
Construction has been taking place over the last month to bring in Cancun Mexican Grill.
There are multiple Cancun Mexican restaurants in Greater Cincinnati, including one in the Newport Shopping Center, but ownership of those restaurants could not comment on whether or not they are owned by the same franchisee.
|Signage of Cancun Mexican Bar & Grill at The Newport Shopping Center. FTM file.|
The restaurant sits on leased land from the city of Newport, which is an 11.85 Acre strip along the river. An ownership group, DFR Inc, has owned the building since its construction in 1995. That group started the chain of Tex-Mex restaurants in 1995, starting them in Texas before eventually expanding in the midwest.
The appraised value of the property sits at $1,490,000.
There is no timetable for when the new restaurant may open, but heavy construction was taking place on the inside of the building.
|Construction is currently taking place inside of 401 Riverboat Row. FTM file.|
In 2013 the restaurant was temporarily closed after a building inspection led to concern for the safety of customers and employees. A routine building inspection on April 25 of that year found issues with the structural integrity of one corner of the restaurant's deck, specifically the condition of a steel beam.
According to a Don Pablos employee in 2016, a leak in the restaurants roof was what led to the electrical fire that ultimately closed the restaurant permanently.