Chuy’s opened on April 16, 1982 in an old, abandoned Texas Barbeque joint on iconic Barton Springs Road in Austin, TX. There was seating for about sixty, a women’s restroom the size of a broom closet and a men’s restroom that was, well, outside. Founders Mike Young and John Zapp had a vision of a fun and funky Tex-Mex restaurant that served authentic and fresh food in an atmosphere that appealed to everyone. From these humble beginnings Chuy’s was born.
Mike and John, along with their “decorator” Jose Cuervo, made some interesting decisions on restaurant decor, due to lack of money and creativity of their “designer”. Those Chuy’s touches you love, like the hand-carved wooden fish “swimming” from the ceiling, hubcaps hanging bright and shiny above your booth and the Elvis shrine started with Mike and John and are still alive today. Although we say, “If you’ve seen one Chuy’s, You’ve seen one Chuy’s, ” we still like to keep a few of these original eclectic touches in each of our restaurants.
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