Lotus Garden to close after 50 years, original Serial Grillers to move in

The original Serial Grillers location will become a new barbecue concept.

Tucson’s oldest family-owned-and-operated Chinese restaurant Lotus Garden announced plans to close at the end of May after over 50 years in business.

Lotus Garden opened in 1968 with the Wong family. Now, it’s time for current chef and manager Dan Wong to retire.

The space at 5975 E. Speedway Blvd. already has a new tenant lined up. Serial Grillers plans to move their original location at 5737 E. Speedway Blvd. two blocks down the road into the former Lotus Garden.

“Moving will expand our seating [from 88] to 140+ and offer outdoor patio seating,” said Travis Miller, co-owner at Serial Grillers. “Additionally, we will no longer have to share a parking lot and it should be a lot easier to visit as a customer.”

The original Serial Grillers space also won’t go to waste.

Loaded Tots at Red Desert BBQ (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Loaded Tots at Red Desert BBQ (Credit: Jackie Tran)

“We still have a few years left on our lease for our original location and we plan to open a new barbecue concept as a collaboration business with Red Desert BBQ,” Miller said. “We will come together and create a new business called Boulevard BBQ.”

(Jackie’s note: Serial Smokers could have been a fun name, though not as obviously food related.)

“We will create somewhat of a fusion of the two businesses and try to push the barbecue envelope to be more approachable to the everyday foodie,” Miller said. “The business will still offer your traditional barbecue offerings like Red Desert BBQ does at the moment, but will offer some new twists with barbecue tacos, sandwiches, and nachos.”

Boulevard BBQ is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2019.

For more information, visit serialgrillersaz.com.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com and his Instagram @jackie_tran_.