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Q&A: When is the new Chando’s Tacos opening in Citrus Heights?

Chandos Tacos, Citrus Heights
Chandos Tacos is seeking to turn the old Chase Bank site at Sylvan Corners into a new restaurant. // Citrus Heights Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
Last year, the owner of Chando’s Tacos announced plans to open a new restaurant in Citrus Heights, with an opening date targeted for the first quarter of 2018. But as of mid-June, the location at 7084 Auburn Blvd. remains vacant with no activity at the site.

So what’s going on?

Reached by phone on Friday, owner Lisandro “Chando” Madrigal said plans to open the new restaurant this year are still in the works.

“We’re still a little behind, tied up with other projects,” said the 37-year-old entrepreneur, who owns four Chando’s Tacos restaurants in the region and is also working on opening a tortilla factory. However, Madrigal said he’ll be finalizing plans next week and will then “hit the ground running really fast,” with an estimated opening date in November.

When open, he said the new restaurant will be his largest location, with a 3,000-square-foot floor plan that will feature a banquet room for events and company gatherings.

Aside from some initial rough plumbing work done at the site, Madrigal said he’s been stuck with paperwork and managing his other locations. “We really haven’t been able to do anything else until we’re done with the permitting side of things,” he said.

As reported by The Sentinel last October, plans were submitted to the city last year for the new restaurant to take up the old Chase Bank location near Sylvan Corners. Madrigal currently owns four other Chando’s Tacos restaurants in the Sacramento region, which feature a Mexican food selection including tortas, burritos, tacos and quesadillas. He also opened Chando’s Cantina in midtown Sacramento last year, with a full bar and late night hours.

In a prior interview, Madrigal told The Sentinel his business venture began with him personally catering in backyards, followed by his first restaurant opening on Arden Way in 2010 and his later expansion into mobile food truck vending.

“Food trucks and catering has been near-and-dear to my heart and we continue to do a large portion of our business at events during the whole week,” he said, noting plans to continue food truck vending in addition to expanding his brick-and-mortar restaurant brand to Citrus Heights. “I think food trucks allow us to be a more dynamic business, because we’ve got different streams of revenue and we can cater to customers in a variety of ways.”

The entrepreneur also said his mobile trucks and catering options allow him to test out different areas to see if they might make a good restaurant location. Citrus Heights was one such area, and Madrigal said he knows he’s “got a loyal following in that part of town,” based on past experience with his food trucks at local events.

Asked if he has more plans to expand beyond Citrus Heights, Madrigal said he’s got his hands full already with plans to expand his cantina downtown and also open his tortilla factory in West Sacramento.

“There’s just not enough hours in the day for everything that I want to do.”

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