Sahuarita El Charro closes to make way for Pub 22 eatery

2013-06-18T00:00:00Z Sahuarita El Charro closes to make way for Pub 22 eateryCathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Rancho Sahuarita outpost of El Charro Café closed Sunday, making way for a new concept created by El Charro President Ray Flores.

On July 22, Flores and his Killer Culinary team - the founders of Sir Veza's Taco Garage - will open Pub 1922 Vintage Flavor Co.

Pub 22, for short, will take up residence in the 4,500-square-foot space that housed El Charro Café Rancho Sahuarita for three years.

Carlotta Flores, who owns El Charro and is the Tucson chain's chef, said in a Facebook post Monday that closing wasn't an easy decision.

"As everyone is aware, running a local restaurant in Tucson continues to be a challenge," she wrote.

Ray Flores said the Rancho Sahuarita restaurant did well, "but we need more numbers to be profitable."

Pub 22 will maintain several El Charro favorites on its 22-item menu, including enchiladas, tamales and the upscale version of the popular Sonoran hot dog. The remainder of the menu, which will change every 22 days, will include burgers, pastas, sandwiches and grilled meats. The restaurant also will keep 22 Tucson and Arizona craft beers on tap.

Yes, there is a theme here, all building on the year 1922, when El Charro first opened in Tucson.

The restaurant also builds on Flores' template for Sir Veza's, which he described as "fun Mexican food." Alongside some El Charro favorites is a menu of pub food including burgers and fish and chips.

"At Sir Veza's, burgers are among the top five items we sell, and fish and chips is in the top 15," Flores said. "This is definitely more than we did with Sir Vezas."

Flores said Pub 22 will fill a need in Rancho Sahuarita, where El Charro is regarded as the only family-style sit-down restaurant among a small handful of fast-food and casual eateries.

"We're going to do a concept that is more of a response to the needs of a community," he said. "We want to be more of a neighborhood concept, and that's what we're coming up with. We've got to cater more to the families that live there."

Pub 22 also will include TVs showing sports and entertainment, and live entertainment.

"As everyone is aware, running a local restaurant in Tucson continues to be a challenge."

Carlotta Flores,

El Charro owner and chef, in a Facebook post Monday

Did you know?

This is the second El Charro Café to close this year. In early March, El Charro's El Mercado location on East Broadway at South Wilmot Road closed to make way for a CVS drugstore. El Charro, which has been in business since 1922 and calls itself the nation's oldest Mexican restaurant, has three Tucson-area locations, including the original, 311 N. Court Ave.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.

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