El Chinito Gordo to open on Oracle in former Club 21 Mexican Food

The menu is inspired by Central Mexican recipes.

Mexican restaurant El Chinito Gordo announced plans to open at 2920 N. Oracle Rd. the first week of December.

The 3,936-square-foot-building previously held Club 21 Mexican Food, which closed after 73 years in business. With an additional 715 square feet of patio space, the restaurant will seat 127.

“ECG’s interior pays homage to traditional Mexican style and blends it with a modern interpretation of Mexican aesthetic,” said Felicia Chavez, co-owner and social media manager of El Chinito Gordo.

Chavez, who is also a commercial interior designer, owns the restaurant along with architect Mark Bonillas and The Bamboo Terrace co-owners Lenny Mark and Blanca Mark.

“[The name] ‘El Chinito Gordo’ was a playful way of symbolically tying together all of the owners and their different cultures/ethnicities into our restaurant concept,” Chavez said. “(Lenny is Chinese, and his wife Blanca is Mexican; Mark is Mexican, and his partner Felicia is Mexican and Chinese.”

While the name and ownership is a blend of Mexican and Chinese cultures, the food focuses on Mexican.

“Our menu is inspired by Central Mexican recipes that were passed down through generations,” Chavez said. “Some recipes have been refined in a way that both preserves tradition and elevates Tucson’s Mexican food scene. Some of our feature dishes will include Chile Relleno en Nogada, Tacos al Pastor, and a Chorizo Burger that’s off the hook.”

To apply for work at the restaurant, email bmark@ecgtuc.com.

Operating hours will be noon – 9 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday – Saturday.

Keep up with El Chinito Gordo on Facebook.

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_.