Restaurant a year in construction plans to open in July

(WMC-TV) - If you've driven Madison Avenue over the past year, you've seen the Old Zinnie's East slowly transform into a new restaurant.

A skeleton crew of three men, have been laying down each painstaking, tedious touch to a massive outdoor patio.

"We've been one year almost in construction," said Jesse Gonzalez. "We've changed a lot. It's not the old Zinnie's East."

Gonzalez and his father have transformed the building into Frida's. Frida's is a Mexican restaurant coming soon to Madison Avenue.

Action News 5 got a sneak peek through the front door, but the inside remained off-limits.

"We're almost done," said Gonzalez. "We really are. We're almost done."

Frida's isn't the only renovation currently underway in the area, but when they open, reality awaits.

"Small businesses can always survive, but the market is highly competitive," said University of Memphis Economist, Dr. John Gunschke.

Dr. Gnuschke describes the current local economy as tight with slow growth.

He says new retail and new restaurants all face a difficult test ahead.

"They get market share by taking it from somebody else," said Dr. Gnuschke. "It doesn't happen because the economy is growing, but because the economy is not growing."

Gonzalez says he's well aware of the economic atmosphere and for him it is part of the draw.

"The excitement," said Gonzalez. "The risk, the 50-50 chance you got. I just love the adventure for it."

The time for that adventure is inching closer as he plans to have the grand opening, July 20th.

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