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RACINE — Mi Jacalito Restaurant plans a dramatic façade restoration that should give the building at 1318 Douglas Ave. the look of a traditional building in Mexico.

Restaurant owner Jose Sanchez-Navarro submitted his plans to the City of Racine and intends to ask for a $10,000 façade grant.

That request was supposed to have been taken up by the Redevelopment Authority Monday afternoon, but the RDA deferred the item when no project representative appeared at the meeting. Ed Malacara, who acts as Sanchez-Navarro’s business manager, said he was told by a city staffer it was not necessary to attend the meeting, and because a medical appointment went longer than expected, he arrived too late.

However, Malacara later said they expect the project cost to fall between about $40,000 and $50,000. They hope to start the work this spring and finish later this year, he said.

Interim city Development Director Matt Sadowski said Monday the applicant will be eligible for a grant of up to $10,000. The request goes to the RDA because there is no design review body for the Douglas Avenue corridor, he explained.

Sanchez-Navarro’s daughter, Alejandra Sanchez-Flores, also an employee at Mi Jacalito, said the family wants to upgrade the façade “just to renew the building, because it’s been the same for the past 20 years.” Her father has owned the business for the past five years.

They also want to give it a new look, she said, because that stretch of Douglas Avenue is tentatively slated to be reconstructed in 2018. The two projects combined should help ease some people’s fears of coming to the restaurant because of what they consider to be a bad neighborhood, Sanchez-Flores added.

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Michael "Mick" Burke covers business and the Village of Sturtevant. He is the proud father of two daughters and owner of a fantastic, although rug-chewing, German shepherd dog.

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