There has been an uptick in violence in some areas of Cancun lately and now the increase in crimes has led a popular restaurant that recently went viral on TikTok to close its doors. It was only a couple of months ago that El Chef became so popular, when a TikTok member with more than 300,000 followers visited the restaurant and shared with them on the platform. The video lasted less than 50 seconds but made a lasting impression on viewers who were now eager to try the restaurant.
The recent increase in violence in the city of Cancun has been significantly aimed at local restaurants and bars, and while officials are increasing security for those establishments, the problem continues to persist. Just since the beginning of the year, there have been numerous crimes involving shootings, some without even being provoked. Only weeks ago, a number of restaurants were shot into, and not long ago a bar was the target of gunfire as well.
It is events like these that are what led 27-year veteran in the culinary arts industry, Mr. Luis, and his partner to cease operations. The 35-year-old couple sacrificed everything that they had to open the restaurant but in the name of safety, they simply could not with good conscience continue to run. From the time the video of the restaurant went viral to the time that it closed its doors, it went from having a handful of local regular customers to having to start taking reservations due to the overwhelming response from viewers.
The TikTok video, which was shared by @explorandorinconcitos, was only 46 seconds long but it showcased a number of items on the menu at the restaurant, as well as the restaurant itself and the hardworking staff. The video immediately sparked interest among locals and it didn’t take long for them to start venturing out to find out what El Chef had to offer. Word got out and it started to become the newest hotspot in town, where those interested in dining there had to make a reservation to get a table.
The response of the community when it was announced that El Chef would be closing proves just how popular the restaurant was becoming. Some suggested trying to continue with only delivery until the violence situation calms down, others relayed their sadness that violence leads to these outcomes. There were also comments from those that had not yet had the chance to visit the restaurant that expressed their hope and optimism that the restaurant would come back later.
It has not even been three months since the video was shared on March 4 and already it significantly increased the popularity of El Chef. The restaurant would have likely continued to grow following the sharing of the video. There have been nearly 600,000 reactions to the video and it was saved nearly 40,000 times. It has also been shared on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
While gun violence has led to the closing of this much-loved restaurant there is an increase in security in and around the restaurants and bars in Cancun in order to protect the safety of locals and visitors. Officials are also doing what they can to crack down on gun violence in the area.
Despite the stories in the news, the violence is not unlike that you would find in the U.S., it is simply more shocking because Cancun is such a picturesque destination that it seems unimaginable. The Hotel Zone in Cancun is a generally safe place to be and it is only steps from the beautiful beaches that are so many travelers’ reason for visiting.
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