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Nuevo León
Nuevo León
Chicago Fire Department

The owners of Nuevo León already have a plan to build a new restaurant across the street from their spot that burned down on Wednesday. Owner Danny Gutiérrez Jr. wants to quickly open a smaller restaurant at a space his family owns at 1511 W. 18th St., he told DNAinfo. He also plans on buying the restaurant space across the street at 1514 W. 18th St., the former Veneno de Nayrit site, hoping to move operations there.

Meanwhile, a neighbor established an online fund-raising page to benefit the 40 employees who worked at the restaurant with a $50,000 goal to help during the holidays. As of Thursday morning, the GoFundMe page has raised more than $2,500 for the 50 families affected by the blaze. The fire started around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday near the kitchen, but its cause remains under investigation.

Employees mourned the loss of their 52-year-old place of work, calling it a social club where the mostly Mexican-Americans could converse and bond, according to the Sun-Times. The Gutiérrez family opened the restaurant in 1962 in Pilsen, and they've developed quite a following. The esteemed Rick Bayless told the Tribune about his visits and called the restaurant "a guardian of community and great northern Mexican flavors."

Nuevo Leon Restaurant

1515 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608 (312) 421-1517 Visit Website

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