North Wichita Celebrates Plaza Grand Opening

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Vendors like the family owned Red Barn Barbecue in Goddard set up shop for the grand opening of the Nomar marketplace.

"We're on a tight crew. I have my sister out here. I have my brother out here on his day off. My cousins, we've been out here since six this morning smoking food and cooking," said Gerard Rodriguez, restaurant owner. "We're really excited to be able to show off a little bit but at the same right, do what we love to do."

The Nomar Community Development Corporation is organizing several events including a weekly open air market for vendors, every Saturday, starting May 7.

"Commend them for doing this. It's really good that they're putting forth efforts to bring about culture and community, family," said Rodriguez.

The grand opening included a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the beginning of the Nomar International Plaza. Vendors sold tacos and drinks while other sold hot dogs to round out the family oriented and international feel of the plaza.

"This neighborhood is very much family as one. So we do joke that if you don't know somebody, you're probably related. If you're not related, you know someone who is related," said Anita Mendoza, Nomar director.

The 21st Street Revitalization Project that included the plaza along with the reconstruction of 21st street from Waco to Broadway, cost nearly $5.9 million. People living near the area said it's worth the cost.

"We've been needing something like this for a long time. It''s been dead right here on the corner, so it's going to liven it up. We need this. People come together," said Amber Martinez, lives in the Nomar district.

Those in attendance and those who were selling said the improvement along 21st street are much needed.

"I hope it just brings us together in a positive way, to get together and have something to do. You know, we need this," said Martinez.

"We're going to be out here every weekend so just to see what they bring to the table is going to be really neat and exciting," said Rodriguez.

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