Chuy’s, the Austin-based Tex-Mex casual dining chain that boasts Elvis Presley as its patron saint, opened its second Florida site on February 18th, its 50th location.

This newest Chuy’s is on International Drive in Orlando, about a half-hour drive from the first Florida spot in Kissimmee, which opened in spring 2013.

Chuy's is also opening a location in Addison, Texas in mid-March, and in Charlotte, North Carolina and Noblesville, Indiana in the spring.

The company owns and operates full-service restaurants across 12 states—in Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina. Georgia, Virginia, and Florida. 

Known for its hand-rolled flour and corn tortillas, Big As Yo’ Face Burritos, and fully-loaded Nacho Car, offering a trunk load of chips, salsa, childe con queso, and taco meat, the 32-year-old restaurant chain also draws headlines for its eclectic décor.

Its motto asserts—"If you've seen one Chuy's, you've seen one Chuy's”—decreeing that no two restaurants are alike. Each, however, incorporates an Elvis shrine into the mix, a tradition started with the original Chuy’s on Barton Springs Road in Austin.

The 8,000-square-foot Orlando location greets diners with a giant Elvis bust in front, surrounded by the chain’s famous ball wall. Inside, paintings of celebrity Elvis impersonators—think Oprah as “the King”—vintage cars, and vibrant tropical scenes adorn the walls. The ceiling in the dining area is filled to the brim with hubcaps, while the bar area’s ceiling is a sea of fish. Wrap-around outdoor seating faces International Drive.

“We are so excited to bring Chuy’s to International Drive,” says Jack Baum, local owner/operator of Chuy’s Orlando. “There is nothing like us here on I-Drive, and we can’t wait to introduce our made-from-scratch Tex-Mex and funky vibe to both visitors and locals here in town.”  

Popular Chuy’s menu items include Tortilla Soup, Stuffed Chile Rellenos, Chicka-Chicka-Boom Enchiladas, and Comida Deluxe, featuring cheese Tex-Mex enchiladas, chicken flautas, a seasoned ground sirloin crispy taco, guacamole, and homemade tostada chips dipped in chile con queso.

By Joann Whitcher

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, NextGen Casual, Chuy's