Neighborhood restaurant creates chaos for nearby residents

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DENVER -- Violence outside a neighborhood restaurant is an ongoing issue and nothing is being done, area residents said.

The parking lot outside Los Gallitos Taqueria, at the corner of West Alameda Alameda and Conosa Street is always full. Neighbors say there’s plenty about the restaurant they wish they could miss.

“There's been fights over there and noise,” Steven Hays said.

“I’m constantly picking up trash in my yard. They are definitely drinking outside,” Dan Garcia said.

Residents said the problem is the loud parties in the parking lot. The restaurant's customers fight, leave liquor and beer bottles, and other trash is left on lawns and in the street. Even more alarming, neighbors said, is the violence and gunfire at all hours of the night.

“We have a right to feel safe in our own neighborhood,” Hays said.

On Saturday, the Denver Police Department responded to the restaurant’s parking lot after someone fired shots in the air.

“I was awakened to the sound of rapid gunfire. It was about 2:30 in the morning,” Hays said.

Garcia said he woke up to police and K-9 units searching for the suspect or suspects in his yard.

“It's scary when you think about it, especially with kids,” Garcia said.

Several months ago, police were called to the street outside the restaurant after police said an argument in the restaurant's parking lot led to a driver plowing through a crowded street -- a hit-and-run that left two people seriously injured.

“How many people have to get hurt? How much damage does there have to be before that stops?” Hays asked.

Neighbors said their growing list of problems with the establishment and its customers are falling on deaf ears.

“I've sent emails to council members, the city attorney's office, the governor's office and the mayor's office,” Hays said.

Still, they say, the violence, noise and trash problems continue.

“We know that this is an establishment and he has to make money, but these late hours, we’ve asked, you know, close earlier. There's no reason to be open at 2, 3, 4 in the morning,” Garcia said.

The owner of the restaurant did not return calls for comment.

The city’s neighborhood mediation department said the owner has agreed to a list of things to comply with neighbors' requests. If that doesn’t work, the restaurant's hours of operation could be given a second look.

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