Long-awaited southern Mexican restaurant is about to open

November 15, 2022

A new Mexican restaurant opening in southern Sioux Falls in the coming weeks is a hybrid of two families and their favorite recipes.

Mexican restaurant La Plaza Fiesta is putting the finishing touches on its premises in a retail mall at 521 W. 85th St. in front of Walmart, and inspections are scheduled for next week.

“Our dream is to open before December 1st,” said co-owner Krystal Hernandez. “So we’ll see how much we can get done in the next few days. We will be here all day, every day, getting things done.”

The family-friendly restaurant will make guests feel like they’re at a resort, Hernandez said. The space is an open dining room with a bar in front of the wall that hides the kitchen. Above the bar there is a large installation with “palm leaves” which are green lights and “coconuts” which are hanging lights. Behind the bar is a large work of art with a Dia de los Muertos theme.

One wall is a large photo of the beach and ocean, and another is a map of North America and Central America.

The dining area offers space for up to 140 guests at tables and seating areas.

La Plaza Fiesta is a new partnership between two families who have their own Mexican restaurants. Hernandez and her husband Daniel have a restaurant and grocery store La Plaza Fiesta in Madelia, Minnesota, and Reyes Aranda Sr. and Jr. own Mexican restaurant La Cantina in Brookings and other locations in Wisconsin and Michigan. They will be joined at the Sioux Falls restaurant by Daniel’s brother and sister-in-law Antonio and Luz Hernandez Tovar.

The two families hail from the same central Mexican village of Guanajuato, but didn’t meet until they were living in the United States through mutual friends, Hernandez said. “And then they said, ‘Do you want to do a restaurant with us?’ And that’s just how it turned out. It’s super weird, but it works.”

The restaurant will combine dishes from both families.

“We’re really excited” about the menu, Hernandez said. “It was fun mixing different styles and ideas together.”

Guests will find “the basics, like fajitas and quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, but then we’ll also have some fun resort-style appetizers and dinners, like some fancier ones.” We will have margarita towers. We’re going to have molcajetes, which are the big lava rocks you find in Mexico, where a lot of the salsas and dishes are made.”

There will be beef, pork and chicken. Seafood dishes include scallops, crab, shrimp and oysters, she said. Vegetarian options will be available.

The menu will have an American section with hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and steaks. There are also special offers for children.

La Plaza Fiesta has a beer and wine license, but serves malt-based margaritas and other tropical drinks served in celebratory glasses imported from Mexico. Mexican beers and domestic offerings will be available on tap, in bottles and cans. The restaurant serves cola products.

La Plaza Fiesta is open daily at 11am and closes at 9pm Sunday, 10pm Monday through Thursday, and 11pm Friday and Saturday.

Eventually, the restaurant will offer catering, Hernandez said. Their other restaurants offer catering, but they want to wait in Sioux Falls until things run smoothly.

The long wait for the restaurant is almost over, Hernandez promised. They announced it in July 2021 and had hoped to open in the fall, but “a lot of things” led to the delay. “Life, we all have kids, and then the equipment was backordered, and then we didn’t hire a general contractor — we did everything ourselves,” she said, with the help of subcontractors.

Sioux Falls customers who have traveled to Brookings and Madelia to eat at the restaurants have waited patiently but frequently asked about progress, she said.

“We’re really going to open up,” she said, laughing.

Mexican restaurant set to open in southern Sioux Falls