The Gastronomic Corridor’s debut set the tone for a restaurant row full of chill vibes and great food.
Mérida Mayor Renán Barrera Concha and Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal led the opening ceremony to inaugurate the MX$80 million project. It is just part of a more ambitious project where the state, municipal, and federal governments are spending more than MX$2.5 billion to beautify, expand and modernize the tourist corridor between the Plaza Grande, Calle 60, Calle 47, and Parque La Plancha. Sunday’s Biciruta is said to be rerouted to promote the improvements.
He said eight new restaurants will join the dozen or so already open on the five-block corridor between the Remate and the park.
The city avoided loud music, opting instead for low-key music, some strolling opera singers, mimes, dancers, comics and — of course — food samples. Fireworks displays punctuated the occasion, but were brief.
Restaurants that for a year were obscured behind construction chaos were packed with customers for the entire 1.25-mile stretch.
Residents who live between the restaurants took in the action, setting up their own tables out front to take in the action.
The Corredór Gastronómico, as it is called in Spanish, started with streetscape beautification. Asphalt was replaced with bricks and pavers, and traffic was reduced to one lane. Or no lanes on nights like this. Power lines were buried underground, removing the tangle of cables overhead. Planters with trees and flowers line the corridor.
Security personnel counted 2,000 visitors, most arriving later in the evening after the mayor and governor shared ribbon-cutting duties.
On Sunday, the mayor will step down from office to pursue his gubernatorial bid, hoping to replace Vila Dosal in 2024.