SHENANDOAH, Pa. -- Fresh homemade smoothies being poured into a cup, empanadas ready to be served -- Paradise Cafe in Shenandoah is open for business.
“Give people a place to be happy and here it's a happy place. In my country, we have color, so I want people to come here and see the difference,” said Omar Veras.
The Dominican restaurant on Main Street officially opened last week.
Omar Veras has lived in the community for years and remembers a beating case that shook Shenandoah to its core. In 2008, an undocumented Mexican immigrant named Luis Ramirez died after being beaten by three teenagers.
Veras says that since then, he has seen the community become more accepting.
"It's growing. They are growing a lot of business around here and before it was sad and now everything is running good,” said Veras.
We caught up with Dave Bernadyn of Mahanoy City as he picked up some food from the Paradise Cafe for his coworkers.
“We have pizza shops on pretty much every corner, so it's nice to get a sandwich or smoothie or try something different,” said Dave Bernadyn.
Veras hopes the pot continues to melt and diversity continues to grow in Shenandoah.