Construction beginning again at El Rodeo restaurant site

Nearly two years after initial construction began, a popular Mexican restaurant chain is continuing plans to build a new location in Greenwood.

El Rodeo had plans for a new location next to Walmart on Emerson Avenue in Greenwood, and construction for that project began in late 2013; but the half-constructed building sat vacant during the following winter after multiple locations across Indiana were raided by state officials and financial records were seized.

Prosecutors from Marion and Tippecanoe counties announced that El Rodeo had underreported about $22.7 million in sales, about 25 percent of total sales for 2010 to 2012, at 26 El Rodeo and El Jaripeo restaurants in the state. Construction on the new Greenwood restaurant was halted immediately.

A wall collapsed during winter weather in 2014, and the city of Greenwood deemed it structurally unsound. So the building had to be demolished, city of Greenwood Planning Director Bill Peeples said.

Despite having to start over on construction and apply for a new building permit, El Rodeo has since revisited plans to build and will go forward with the original project, Peeples said.

Construction on the outside of the building should be done by Sept. 1, according to Indy Built Custom Solutions representative Yan Guenette.

The restaurant hired Indy Built to reconstruct the restaurant. Indy Built demolished the building that sat unfinished for almost two years.

The company is completing only the exterior shell of the building at this time. The builder and the restaurant company do not have a tentative schedule on when the interior will be done and a new El Rodeo will open.

Before the restaurant chain can begin the interior work on the new location, it will first have to apply for a second permit for that phase of construction, Peeples said.

“We don’t really know when the interior will be remodeled for a restaurant,” he said. “But having a completed (structure) is better than what we have at this time.”

El Rodeo has a location near Smith Valley Road and State Road 135 in the Center Grove area that has remained open.

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.