You Want Updates? Here Ya Go.
As you can see from this photo of Avila's taken, oh, 20 minutes ago, the place is in no shape to reopen.
So, you want to know if Avila's opened, per Judge Ken Molberg's order last Friday that Ricardo Avila restore the Maple Avenue restaurant by no later than yesterday morning. The short answer: Nope. Not even close. I went by this morning and was greeted by a new sign that replaced the one put up there last week. (Says the new one: "Closed for renovations. Thank you, The Avila Family.") And, as you can see, yes, Ricardo did appear to return the tables and chairs he took without warning on Valentine's Day, but they're merely scattered about the Mexican restaurant -- hardly "the way it was," as Molberg ordered. I've left a message for attorney Bill DeLoney, who's representing Anita Avila and the family in their suit against Ricardo, to see what's next -- aside from mediation scheduled to begin tomorrow.
(Update at 12:42 p.m.: I just spoke with DeLoney, who says Ricardo "isn't taking the judge seriously" and is asking Judge Molberg for another hearing today before tomorrow's scheduled mediation. According to the attorney, Ricardo "spent maybe nine hours" returning the pilfered equipment over the last few days and has failed to reinstall the kitchen equipment, including a cooler, to working order. And, DeLoney says, "someone has tampered with the electricity," which the power company says should be working but isn't. "He's costing his mother a lot of money," DeLoney says.)
And, you want to know about that big Fair Park announcement the Friends of Fair Park tweeted last week. The short answer: There is no major announcement. As I understand it from a city official who's spoken with Craig Holcomb, who's yet to return my call, the Friends' exec director "misread an e-mail then misspoke" via tweet concerning big doings at Fair Park. Daniel Huerta, the exec general manager at Fair Park, did tell me Friday he might have an announcement this week concerning something unrelated, but he offered no new news during yesterday's council briefing. Instead, he told the council CityArts Festival was moving from the Arts District to Fair Park in May (which we already knew -- hence its recent rebranding as "A Fair Park Festival") and said the State Fair's still on track to open Summer Place Park by the summer of 2012. I've left another message for Huerta, who's at an awards ceremony this morning, and will update this update when he responds to see if he's got something else up his sleeve.
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