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Some local businesses get big boost during AFA graduation

Some local businesses get big boost during AFA graduation
Posted at 6:20 PM, May 26, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — In traditional fashion following the commencement ceremony for cadets at the Air force Academy, the Thunderbirds put on quite the show. For graduation and the big show, thousands made their way to the northern part of town, which also means some local businesses needed to prepare for a few more customers

Vaquero's Mexican Restaurant off of N. Powers has been open for about 3 1/2 years, and the owner there said even a few days prior to graduation day, business has been booming with new and familiar faces.

"Graduation day is normally a very busy for a lot of people. The restaurant is packed. A lot of people from out of town come in for the cadets, and a lot of people come in to see the planes," said Martin Arceo, the owner.

Vaquero's Mexican Restaurant is also getting ready to open another location in the Northgate area. The new location used to be the C.B. and Potts Restaurant off of Northgate and I-25. The new restaurant isn't open yet, but Arceo said the parking lot was full on Tuesday for the Thunderbird's practice, and it was also full today for the airshow following the commencement.

A lot of other nearby restaurants were also packed with customers today. One of them was Basil & Barley Pizzeria off of Briargate Parkway.

The view from the restaurant's outdoor patio looks toward Falcon Stadium. Although it's still about a 15 minute drive to the academy, many of the tables at the restaurant were full as the Thunderbirds performed on their show.

Robert Calcagno, the restaurant's owner said, about 40 people made reservations around that hour. Meanwhile, he's hopeful business will continue to pick up as we head into Memorial Day Weekend and summer.

"We're very very optimistic now, we feel like the summer coming, we're noticing already like a booming in booking and sales as well," said Calcagno.

This week, and especially today, is one of the busiest for all the restaurants in the area, therefore restaurant owners are encouraging customers to call ahead of time and make a reservation.