The family-owned San Marcos Grocery Store and Restaurant is set to reopen early this year after shutting down due to a fire in 2007.
On Nov. 9, 2007, the fire department was called to San Marcos Grocery Store and Restaurant, 113 S. Main St., Goshen at 5:00 am. Later, it was ruled to be a case of arson by the Goshen Fire Department.
Almost two months later, Goshen police arrested Kenny L. Cabrera- Garcia, 31, as a suspect in the San Marcos fire. He was put in jail on preliminary charges of arson and burglary. He was believed to have burglarized the store and set it on fire as a cover-up.
San Marcos was completely destroyed on the inside, yet it didn’t suffer any structural damage. Alfredo and Maria Ponce, the owners, were devastated by the loss as the store was their main source of income.
According to WSBT in South Bend, the Ponce family didn’t have insurance to cover the damages from the fire. It was uncertain whether the San Marcos would be reopened or not. There had been discussion of selling the business.
Chamber of Commerce President David Daugherty said, “Even after the fire, they planned to open again. There were just some financial issues to resolve. ”
To help with the costs of rebuilding the store, Eric Kanagy, president of Downtown Goshen, Inc., established a fund to collect donations to aid the Ponce family. Downtown Goshen, Inc. is a non-profit organization that promotes development in downtown Goshen.
The Ponce family began to rebuild San Marcos in early 2009 after a long delay in starting the rebuilding process. They stopped construction in May 2009. Manager Rosa Ponce said they had run out of funds to keep rebuilding.
Goshen’s Façade Program, which serves to persevere and promote the downtown district, awarded the Ponce family a $4000 grant to repair the front of the building.
As construction was underway again, the city issued a stop order due to lack of building permits and proper inspections of the building. Once the Ponce family obtained the proper permits, construction was able to continue.
With the new construction, the Ponce family expects to build a bigger and better San Marcos. The grocery store will be fully stocked, and there will be a butcher’s shop as before. The builders will increase seating capacity to 50 people in the restaurant area.
“San Marcos is reopening,” said Daugherty. “We just aren’t sure what the date is.”