CHANDLER, AZ - After eight years, Valley chef Anthony Serrano is closing his Chandler restaurant, El Palacio Mexican Restaurant and Cantina.
"I am making this decision with tremendous sadness and reluctance. I have spent eight years of my life trying to make the restaurant profitable using all the means at my disposal," Serrano said in a video posted Saturday on the restaurant's Facebook page.
Despite appearances on local and national TV, using different marketing companies, and food promotions, "[a]ll this success & work, however, has never translated into enough new customers to support us," he said in the video.
Last year, Serrano's restaurant was featured on Food Network's "Ginormous Food."
National chains and corporations, the uptick in fast-casual restaurants and increases in Arizona's minimum wage were also factors in the decision, he said.
"After much time and reflection I’ve come to realize that the strain is too much and this restaurant is no longer viable from a business perspective. We are asking our landlord to release us from our lease before we are ruined financially and because of this, our closing date is out of our hands," he said.
The restaurant's last day of service is Jan. 14. It is located near Gilbert and Germann roads, 2950 E. Germann Road, Chandler, AZ 85286.
Serrano also launched an online fundraising account through GoFundMe to "help us honor our final financial commitments." The fundraising goal is $100,000.