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El Rio reopens after windstorm

KINGSLAND — There’s a grand opening celebration with free hot dogs and other goodies Friday at El Rio Food & Fuel — and everyone’s invited, said the store’s owner Patricia Heinecke.

“I have a brand new store,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”The grand opening is planned for around noon.

Less than three months ago, a freak windstorm tore the roof off the Valero convenience store, located at 14757 RR 1431, and blew it to the other side of the highway.

But instead of despairing, Heinecke immediately got to work rebuilding.

The new store is now larger, and has new equipment, merchandise and even décor, she said.

But Heinecke is not revealing everything.

“The colors are fabulous, but I’m not going to tell anybody,” she said with a laugh. “They’ve got to come see.”

editor@thepicayune.com