The windows may be dark and the name on the marquee isn't theirs but, with their legion of regulars, Los Dos Molinos is experiencing anything but a downtime after recently opening.
The new Ahwatukee Foothills restaurant, which occupies the Trios location, 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., had a "soft open" about three weeks ago. Since then, the people of Ahwatukee Foothills are talking, leading to a full-house on most nights and especially weekends.
Los Dos Molinos has five locations across the Phoenix-metro area. The first of the family-owned and operated chain of New Mexican-style cuisine opened more than 20 years ago in Springerville, Ariz. Daughter to original owners, Cheryl Chavez, is now co-proprietor and head chef at the Ahwatukee Foothills location.
"Our restaurants have always been about family," she said.
The grand opening will be when they receive their new sign, which Chavez said hopefully will be within a week or two. Until then, they have a partial menu and are using the time to train their staff.
"What was surprising to me is so many people who visited (the Molinos location in south Phoenix) live in the area," she said. "We have been really busy since opening."
Chavez is not sure what sets her family's recipes apart to bring the amount of success they have had, but she believes it has a lot to do with the quality and care put into the food, which is known to be a little on the spicy side.
"People say they love our beans, but I'm like, they're just beans," she said. "But then again how we prepare them is different from other places."
Chavez fills a variety of needs for Molinos. She prepares the food in the morning and cooks throughout the shift, shares the financial book work and still finds time to mingle with her guests.
"I like being out and talking to people and making sure their experience is the best it can be," Chavez said.
Molinos is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.