Whether it is because of the city and Chamber of Commerce's efforts to support a local restaurant or just that people enjoy Mexican cuisine, Casa Fiesta was packed at lunch Friday.
Ramon Gustavo, manager of the restaurant, said the crowds have been slowly increasing since a drop-off after Salmonella made several patrons ill.
"It is gradually building back up," Gustavo said. "A lot of people have shown support."
Norwalk Mayor Sue Lesch and Melissa James, director of the Norwalk Area-Huron County Chamber of Commerce, were pleased with the turnout at the restaurant for lunch Friday. James said she was returning for another meal Friday evening.
"I coming back out for dinner and hope people join me for a double dose of Casa Fiesta," she said after her lunch Friday.
"Ramon put a lot into this and he was proud to bring this to the community," she added, so Chamber of Commerce members are very supportive of the business.
Bill Taylor, owner of Colonial Flowers, donated carnations for Casa Fiesta staff to hand out to female patrons. He also showed up to have lunch at the restaurant.
Taylor said his support of Casa Fiesta was just an attempt to build up the business community in Norwalk.
Mayor Lesch was pleased when she had to search for a parking space in the lot by Casa Fiesta.
"I'm delighted," said Lesch. "I couldn't find a place to park. This is the way it used to be."
Manager Gustavo said the restaurant wanted to acknowledge the community support so they gave a 25 percent discount to all patrons Friday.
"That is a thank you," he said, for loyal patrons.
Just after the lunchtime crowd was thinning out, he already was juggling reservations for tables for Friday night.
To Gustavo, the owners and the workers at Casa Fiesta, that means one thing people like the restaurant's food. They hope to have weathered the storm of bad publicity and move on to regain their reputation as an authentic Mexican restaurant that offers dishes to please everyone.