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La Fuente coming to Cooney?

On The Deck has accepted an offer from popular Mexican restaurant

Sept. 2, 2009

City of Oconomowoc — The colored strings of lights aren't illuminated yet, and the Corona sign isn't glowing in the window, but talks of Mexican restaurant La Fuente settling in the soon-to-be vacant On The Deck building are heating up in the city.

Kris Zimmer, who runs the business her father opened in 1997, announced plans to close the high-end patio and furniture dealer this spring. Zimmer said an ailing economy and the hit the business and many others downtown took from the road reconstruction helped spur the decision to call it quits.

Zimmer said there is an accepted offer from the owner of La Fuente on the location, but several contingencies are holding it up. She said the owner has walked through the building a handful of times.

"I've always said it would make an awesome restaurant, and with everything going on with Fowler Lake … " she noted of plans to revitalize the lake promenade into something that would attract more people to the area's scenic beauty and retail offerings.

Oconomowoc Director of Economic Development Bob Duffy said the city is continuing conversations with La Fuente officials and is setting up a meeting to "make sure they are aware of everything we need to do and what is necessary to accommodate them as a business. We need to sit down and talk about what is necessary to make it happen."

He said the city was able to reserve a liquor license for the business, so that step is already in place.

For now, Zimmer continues to clear On The Deck's inventory. She said everything is 75 percent off and there are lots of odds and ends still available, as well as tables. She said that after Labor Day, the store will be open weekends only until the end of September. Zimmer said she has no definite plans of what to do next and has enjoyed spending more time with her family this summer.

Calls to La Fuente were not returned by press time.

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