The old standard Broadway Chelsea awning above Cuscatlán Restaurant was a beacon of mixed message for decades in the Broadway business district.
There was nothing wrong with the look, or the restaurant, but it didn’t scream out to be new, exciting and fun.
Rebranded as ‘Rodeo’ and now with a brand-new storefront, the Chelsea Square restaurant has turned over a new leaf and has found great momentum that they hope carries over into the rest of the district.
“We are excited to partner in the program,” said Delny Geldamez, of Rodeo. “We see they’re really trying to change the image in Chelsea. Since we did it, we have more American customers and a bigger mix of people coming in. It’s brought a lot of excitement.”
Added Daniel Magana of Rodeo, “Everybody looks at it and says it’s nice. It’s different. That’s important.”
“I want to call out to all the businesses to participate and change their sign too so that the entire street looks different,” added Geldamez.
Cuscatlán had the same look since 1993, but they are the first in the downtown district to participate in the City’s storefront improvement program, which is now just a pilot program that will encompass five other business storefronts in addition to Rodeo.
“We put out the applications and had more than 20 applications from business owners,” said Alex Train, a planner for the City. “We ranked them accordingly and worked with the Chelsea Business Foundation to do that. Now, we have six businesses in the queue for funding. Rodeo was the first and we have five others working with architects on to finalize the design. We’re really thrilled with the final product at Rodeo. The other businesses are looking at new banner signs and blade signs – which were just allowed under the City’s new sign regulations. Many owners are excited and that old ban on signage prevented a lot of owners from upgrading.”
Train said the rest of the businesses will follow Rodeo with new, coordinated signage during the course of this winter. By the summer, he expects the entire round of funding and construction to be completed.
That brings the program to a crossroads.
Though popular with the business owners, and to the public so far, the City Council would have to vote to move the program from a Pilot to a permanent program supported by the City Budget.
“Now we have to go back to the Council to see if they want a full program,” he said.
For now, the changes at Rodeo are permanent and getting great reviews.
Asked if she recommended that the program be extended and that other businesses use it, Geldamez said, “Of course!”