Tex-Mex restaurant chain Chuy’s opens its first Butler County location Tuesday, April 18.
Located near Interstate 75’s Union Centre Boulevard exit, the new West Chester Twp. restaurant will be 84th location nationwide for the Austin, Texas-based chain and the fifth to open in Ohio following Madeira, Dayton, Beavercreek and Columbus.
Here are six things we learned about the restaurant at 9538 Civic Center Blvd. during a behind-the-scenes sneak peek:
1. If you’ve seen one Chuy’s, you’ve seen one Chuy’s
The restaurant aims to create a fun, eclectic atmosphere with design elements like an Elvis Shrine, a hubcap-covered ceiling, a “school” of hand-carved wooden fish throughout the entry and bar, decorative metal palm trees, and the La Chihuahua Bar, which will feature framed pictures of local dogs. “Our fun, eclectic décor has inspired the motto — ‘If you’ve seen one Chuy’s, you’ve seen one Chuy’s,’” said John Hodson, recruiting manager for the restaurant.
2. Everything is fresh, never frozen
Chuy’s menu features family recipes from South Texas, New Mexico and Mexican border towns, with all dishes made from scratch every day from “only the freshest ingredients,” Hodson said. “The tortillas start as a bag of flour or masa each morning and are hand-rolled by tortilla experts on an authentic comal that you can watch from the dining room,” he said. “Even inside the Chuy’s freezers, you’lll only find ice cream for the kids meals.”
3. Chuy’s offers 10 different, freshly-made signature sauces
Hodson said Chuy’s knows that variety is the spice of life. That’s why it offers 10 homemade signature sauces ranging from mild Tomatillo to the spicy Hatch Green Chile, all made in small batches throughout the day. Each has a flavor all its own, he said.
4. Commitment to the community
“Chuy’s loves to give back,” Hodson said. “Each Chuy’s restaurant partners with a local charity and serves through fundraising and volunteering.” The new West Chester Twp. location has partnered with Cancer Free KIDS, which funds pediatric cancer research.
5. It’s getting ‘chile’ in here
Each year, Chuy’s contracts with farmers in the Hatch Valley to grow nearly 1.8 million pounds of green chiles just for its restaurants. When they reach their height of flavor in August, Chuy’s sends a team to New Mexico to bring back the fresh-picked crop for an annual three-week Green Chile Festival in each of its restaurants.
6. Happy Hour is designed to be just that
Happy Hour is weekday from 4 to 7 p.m. with “much more” than great drink specials, Hodson said. “We offer a free fully-loaded Nacho Car filled with chips, queso, ground beef and more,” he said. Happy Hour also includes Chuy’s margaritas, which are made using freshly-squeezed limes, without the use of any mixes, Hodson said.