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Manny Lopez remembered during KCMO Hispanic Heritage Month



Last Thursday, September 22, 2016, at the regular scheduled KCMO council chamber, members opened their meeting by celebrating and honoring the late Manny Lopez, owner of Manny’s Mexican restaurant who passed away on April 29, 2016.

KCMO 4th District Councilwoman Jolie Justus recalled how Manny and his wife Vivian had persevered back in the1980’s by opening the family’s Mexican restaurant on the boulevard while many told him it would be a mistake.

Justus said “it was a symbol at the time and they were told this was not the place to open a restaurant, but they proved that they had good advice, and with hard work and his family’s support they have absolutely been the heart of the Westside for years and years.”

The council read and adopted a proclamation honoring Manny Lopez as a part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Manny Lopez was a strong and powerful voice in Kansas City in both the restaurant industry and the Hispanic community.

Kim Lopez-Burdolski, Manny’s daughter, told Hispanic News, that they miss him terribly adding that she and her siblings were not aware of all of his civic and entrepreneurial involvement.

“All this was happening when we were very young and now that we are adults we see the fruits of his labor. It’s very humbling to know he had such impact, but yet he was able to accomplish a business and his family. My siblings and I talk about this a lot. He never told us all this. He did this for the passion of the city, the Hispanic community. … So when you see the numbers of people he impacted and being in the public world, he was not like that at home. … He was just basically anyone’s dad but in public he was Manny Lopez. … That’s the way to describe him. When we got to go with him to events it was like wow, he’s an important guy, but we only knew him as dad.”

Proclamation Resolution

Honoring the late Manuel J. “Manny” Lopez and recognizing September 15 to October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.

WHEREAS, Kansas City lost one of its premier restaurateurs and civic leaders with the passing of Manny Lopez on April 29, 2016; and

WHEREAS, Manny and his wife Vivian opened Manny’s Mexican Restaurant in 1980 in Kansas City’s West Side neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, In spite of warnings that the restaurant would fail due to what some considered a dangerous area, Manny and his family persevered, and Manny’s Mexican Restaurant has since expanded and continues to thrive; and

WHEREAS, In 1988 Manny served as the president of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association and was inducted in the Association’s Hall of Fame in 2005; and

WHEREAS, Manny served as co-chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and was active in the KC Convention and Visitors Association; and

WHEREAS, Manny was a passionate advocate for minority small businesses and served on the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board; and

WHEREAS, September 15 to October 15 is recognized as National Hispanic Heritage Month throughout the United States;

WHEREAS, National Hispanic Heritage Month was created to recognize the economic, cultural, and social development Hispanics make to our local communities and to our Nation; and

WHEREAS, Manny was the personification of National Hispanic Heritage Month due to his perseverance through difficult times, hard work, and commitment to the Kansas City community and Hispanics everywhere; NOW, THEREFORE

BE IT RESOLVE BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

That the Mayor and Council hereby remember Manny Lopez for his many contributions and recognize September 15 to October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month in his honor; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution be spread upon the Minutes of the Council in testimony thereof and that a copy be presented to the family of Manny Lopez in a token of appreciation for Manny’s contributions to Kansas City by the Mayor and Council.