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Salt Lake City family restaurant saved by son’s viral TikTok video

Alexander Shatov

Through the help of a viral TikTok video, a struggling local business in Salt Lake City was saved after nearly shutting down for good.

Nico’s Mexican Restaurant located on North Temple is a family business known for its enchiladas, tacos, and other Mexican meals. The restaurant has been going strong for almost a full decade but like other small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic nearly made them close their doors.

Carlos Cardenas is the son of Nico Cardenas, the owner of Nico’s Mexican Restaurant, and the unsuspecting cause of the restaurants’ boom in popularity.

During the pandemic, Carlos watched as his father became more and more stressed, nearly being forced to close the restaurant’s doors and have his dream slip away. But Carlos decided to not give up.Rather than let the restaurant die, Carlos posted a TikTok about his father getting his hopes up about the restaurant only to be let down by the lack of customers. Miraculously, Carlos’ TikTok went viral as it was viewed almost 6 million times and had over 1.2 million likes.

The family was blown away by the love and support they’ve seen from the TikTok as the restaurant went from having as many as 10 customers in a few hours to hundreds the next day. Everybody flocked to Nico’s Mexican Restaurant to taste the food for themselves.

At first, Nico was hesitant about the idea of social media, but he’s now willing to be more open with it thanks to Carlos’ miracle. According to Carlos, this past week has been the busiest week the restaurant has ever seen.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.