Food & Drink

Tapas will be on the menu at Chando’s Cantina in midtown

Lisandro "Chando" Madrigal, owner of the popular Chando’s Tacos empire, is slated to open a new upscale restaurant in midtown Sacramento
Lisandro "Chando" Madrigal, owner of the popular Chando’s Tacos empire, is slated to open a new upscale restaurant in midtown Sacramento jvillegas@sacbee.com

An upscale version of the popular Chando’s Tacos enterprise is slated to open in midtown after Christmas.

Announced in July, the restaurant was initially scheduled to open by October. But owner Lisandro “Chando” Madrigal said he decided to put all his effort into the new eatery at 805 15th St., on the corner of H Street.

In the last few weeks, Madrigal has been busy preparing the chain’s first table-service restaurant. Called Chando’s Cantina y Gastronomia, Madrigal said he devised the fancy name to differentiate the location from its sister properties, but also because “I put my heart and soul into it.”

It won’t be like your typical Mexican joint.

Lisandro “Chando” Madrigal

“It’s bringing the art of food and culture together,” Madrigal said of the cantina.

Chando’s Cantina will feature tapas inspired by the street cuisines of Mexico.

“It won’t be like your typical Mexican joint,” Madrigal said.

The cantina will have a full bar and stay open until 3 a.m. It will be decorated with mesquite wood furniture, custom-made in Mexico.

“We’re going to be on the grid,” Madrigal said. “We need to have a cool place for people to hang out.”

Madrigal estimates the restaurant will open a week after Christmas, but final health and safety inspections are still pending. Madrigal has his eyes set on Citrus Heights for the next branch of Chando’s Tacos. The 3,000-square-foot location is expected to open next spring.

The Chando’s brand began six years ago when Madrigal started a modest taco stand on Arden Way, which quickly attracted the attention of foodies. From there, he set up shop on Sacramento’s Power Inn Road, then in Roseville and West Sacramento.

There’s a price to be paid for raising the minimum wage. At one local Mexican food chain, it’s 14 cents a taco.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang

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