By Woodrow Polston
Six months ago, Valencia’s Mexican Restaurant opened for business following a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Vandalia Area Chamber of Commerce. Offering authentic Mexican cuisine, Valencia’s has quickly become a favorite dining option for local residents in and around Vandalia. Customers have left dozens of positive reviews on the restaurant’s Facebook page, such as “One of the best Mexican Restaurants I have eaten at. Fast, friendly service and excellent selections.” Owner Victor Valencia, said the community has been faithfully supportive from the first day of business.
“Business has been very good and the community has continued to come in and dine with us every day since we opened,” said Valencia. “Weekends have been busy for us on a regular basis. We have done well with take-out orders at times during the week when the dining room has been slow. That helps out a lot, to be honest. We occasionally have large groups for meetings and parties also. We have become members of the Chamber of Commerce and have really settled into the community in this short time that we have been here,” he added.
According to the National Restaurant Association, Consumers increased their spending in restaurants during the last quarter of 2023. Despite record inflation levels, eating and drinking establishments registered total sales of $90.4 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis in November, according to preliminary data from the U. S. Census Bureau. That represented the fourth consecutive month with a sales increase of at least 0.9% for the industry. Valencia said that they are currently working on an exciting new menu.
“We are working on a new menu for food and drinks that we are excited about. It should be finished soon and will include a variety of different options and specials. We are staffed fairly well, we currently have nine employees and we are accepting applications for part time servers. We are just really happy to be here in such a friendly community,” said Valencia.
Hours will remain the same seven days a week at the restaurant. Valencia also said that there are plans to place a large lighted business sign on the property once the purchase of the building has been completed. Valencia’s is located at 513 US-54. They are open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.