La Carreta rises from the rubble: Reopening coming soon


Haley Dupre'

After six long months of repair, the reopening of La Caretta Hammond is projected to take place near the end of February.

Margaritas and tacos and queso, oh my! Residents of downtown Hammond are excited and anxiously waiting for the return of their beloved La Carreta. Since the fall of 2021, the popular Mexican restaurant was yet another casualty of Hurricane Ida. 

The restaurant went through multiple repairs and renovations for the last six months after experiencing extensive damage. In light of the destruction, the owners decided to take advantage and add new changes they had wanted for some time. 

General manager David Vaccaro said, “You see the improvements that you would like to make any changes, you could. You finally got the opportunity to maybe rebuild this restaurant image into what you wanted or get to put your touches into it and feel like you are part of the restaurant and part of the team that I’ve got to make decisions on.” 

Haley Dupre’

With the blank canvas, La Carreta was redecorated from the ground up. Almost everything is brand new, starting with growing and relocating the bar to the middle of the restaurant, as well as extending and updating the kitchen. 

Another major change was enclosing the patio inside the restaurant. It creates the sensation of being outside while still being in a climate-controlled space. 

Vaccaro explained maybe a wall and a half is original and everything else is brand new.

Alongside changes to the decor, changes were also made to the menu. In the process of rebuilding, the creator of Hammond La Carreta Saul Rubio reached out to an outside source to collaborate on the menu. 

“We hired a chef to come in and help us for a while with the plating and some of the recipes on paper, but we’re still keeping the core menu the same,” Vaccaro added.

Restaurant goers say the signature Mexican cuisine draws its customers in with every aspect of the restaurant. From the food, to the location, to the decor, La Carreta highlights all the necessities of an excellent customer experience. 

Located in the heart of downtown, the restaurant brings a different type of atmosphere, incorporating it through the flavors of sounds, smells and colored lights.

Freshman computer science major Payton Laskie said, “I am so excited for the return. This location is definitely my favorite, mostly out of convenience, but it’s super cute inside too. I cannot wait to go there with my friends on Thursday nights to wind down after the school week.“

After six long months of repairs, La Carreta is expected to reopen by the end of February, and the staff is excited to open its doors once again to the public.