Chicago restaurant Nuevo León – known for being one of the most essential eats in Pilsen – was destroyed in a fire this morning. Daniel Gutierrez Sr., the owner of the Mexican restaurant that has been a staple in the community for more than 50 years, got a call around 12:30 a.m. that the Pilsen building was on fire. The last shift ended on Tuesday night at 11 p.m., according to NBC Chicago. Firefighters fought the fire for hours, which ended up spreading to next-door restaurant Tortilleria Sabinas.
Gutierrez Sr.’s son was asleep in the apartment above the restaurant, but he made it out safely. As members of the community came by to hug the Gutierrez family, Maria Gutierrez explained how heartbreaking the situation was. “It’s very hard for me to talk right now,” Gutierrez said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “It’s just devastating.” Daniel explained that his biggest concern was his about 40 employees.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, but Jovana Ibarra, who lives nearby, said she heard a small explosion.