Since the new owners took over, Loco Patron in Ahwatukee Foothills has seen changes on both the business side and community side.
One of the most significant differences has been how they operate on Monday nights. After the new owners, Edward Fernandez and William Duffy, took over last February, they have since implemented a charity night of sorts. On Monday nights, they donate 20 percent of their total proceeds generated between 5 to 9 p.m. to a cause in the community.
In the past they have featured Desert Vista High School football and basketball, and Phoenix Children's Hospital. They also helped a local military man with financial support for his family while he was overseas in Iraq.
"Typically, Mondays are slow for restaurants so we thought doing this would be a win-win for both us and for local causes," Fernandez said. "For Phoenix Children's Hospital, we supported Birthday's Not Forgotten. Something like 18,000 kids are inside the hospital over their birthday and some parents just can't afford to buy them presents."
One of their most successful Mondays turned out to raise $1,600 in one day. A local athlete was trying to get to the Pan American Games in October, but did not have enough cash to make it there. So Loco Patron stepped in.
"It was worth it because he ended up winning the gold medal," Fernandez said.
Next, they have set their sights on one of Ahwatukee Foothills' biggest events of the year - Red, White and Boom - and they will be devoting proceeds from every Monday in January to the event.
Red, White and Boom, the fireworks extravaganza and accompanying golf tournament that takes place every year, needs about $15,000 for the 2012 event, Fernandez said.
"We're involved with the chamber and we offered them the entire month of January," Fernandez said. "We got kind of lucky because there are five Mondays this month."
The first Monday in January had a pretty slow turnout, but he expects that to change.
"I think we and the community, once they find out what we are doing, can make a big impact," he said.
Since the change in February, the new ownership has been adapting their menu to fit the needs of the community.
"Since the economy is the way it is, not many families or couples go out for $30 meals every night," Fernandez said. "We changed our menu around and are offering a lot of comfort foods. People think we're just a Mexican restaurant, but we see ourselves as north of the border and I think we have the best burger in Phoenix."
Try it for yourself this coming Monday to support Red, White and Boom, at Loco Patron, 1327 E. Chandler Blvd. Visit their website at www.locotukee.com.
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