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Restaurant boom, and ‘bohemian’ vibe fuels Centro’s nightlife

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The Centro is more active at night these days. Photo: File

Mérida, Yucatán — “Investors risked their capital by betting on the Centro and today it is bearing fruit,” said Carlos Campos Achach, president of the local delegation of the Mexican Chamber of Restaurant and Food Industry (Canirac).

An interview with Diario de Yucatán highlights how the historic center of the capital has been revitalized in the last several years.

High-end night life in the capital was once associated with clubs in the north of the city.

The Centro has never been slow moving during the day, but at night, it’s been a “dead zone.” Not now.

“Merida already has a Historic Center alive day and night. Undoubtedly it has been revitalized,” said Campos Achach.

Especially in Santa Lucia, about 80 restaurants operate in the Centro Histórico, he estimates, with about 20 opening recently or very soon. That has been the driving force of the center’s more active night life.

The restaurants and bars, he said, has generated a large influx of people, especially at night.

The businessman said that this, coupled with the foreigners’ home renovations, new hotels and the rise of free events,  has managed to give new life to the Center.

For Gabriela Novelo Ávila, coordinator of events for creative entrepreneurs, although the center of Mérida has always been considered a meeting point for young people and adults, it was not until a few years ago that a different boom began, with a more cultural approach.

“With the opening of new establishments, among them restaurants, cafés, galleries and cultural centers, which give it a bohemian air, hundreds of young people have turned to the center of the city, which quickly became the new epicenter of Mérida’s nightlife, culture and artistic heritage,” Novelo Ávila said.

Simultaneously the Centro has enjoyed an architectural transformation as a result of the foreign investments. The new residents bought properties and gave a new face to the previously deteriorated facades in the area, she added.

Today, she said, the Centro offers daytime gastronomy, museums, bookstores, libraries, shops and activities of all kinds, and at night, seduces us with its bars, restaurants and events.

“There is a space for everyone in the Centro, all classes and preferences are accepted,” said Gabriela Novelo Ávila. “Unlike the north of the city, there are no social restrictions here and the atmosphere is much more relaxed and casual.”

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