PHOENIX — Chino Bandido, a restaurant known for its combinations of Chinese, Jamaican, and Mexican flavors and that was featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, opens Thursday, July 8, at its new spot in Phoenix.
For 31 years, the hole-in-the-wall joint had been located in a strip mall near 19th Avenue and Greenway Road. It will now be located two miles up the road at Bell Road and Third Avenue, near the WinCo grocery store.
Owner Eve Collins, who opened the restaurant in 1990 with her late husband Frank, told ABC15 in March that the restaurant had simply outgrown its original spot.
"Each year that we opened, we had to kick another wall out," she told ABC15.
The new spot -- a new build -- has a better, more efficient kitchen, an upgraded dining room with an industrial vibe, and an outdoor patio, something the original location did not have. Though, Collins insists "it's still a hole in the wall"
Even Pancho, a 7,500-pound granite bear, made the move.
Diners create their own bowls, burritos, or quesadillas choosing what proteins they want -- carnitas, jerk chicken, teriyaki chicken, etc. -- combined with various sides, such as beans, chicken fried rice, or jerk fried rice.
Collins told ABC15 that when they first opened, customers were a bit apprehensive about the menu, but after Guy Fieri stopped by and featured them on TV, customers began to flood in.
She was recently featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Takeout," a quarantine-version of Fieri's "Triple D," where chefs and owners previously featured on the show sent ingredients to Fieri and told him how to make a particular dish.
IF YOU GO:
310 W. Bell Rd., Phoenix, 85023
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.