The way Seth Holzman sees it, Marana could use a little Guadalajara flare.
The founder and chef-owner of the popular Tucson Mexican restaurant Guadalajara Grill is opening his third location — the imprint’s fifth overall — in mid-June in the Interstate 10/West Cortaro Road area space that had been home to the pie-centric, breakfast restaurant Village Inn.
Village Inn, at 5955 W. Arizona Pavilions Drive, closed at the beginning of the pandemic last April, done in by COVID-19 restrictions that forced restaurants to offer takeout only.
Seth Holzman founded and opened the first Guadalajara Grill with his now ex-wife in 2002 on East Prince Road and North Campbell Avenue.
The new outpost, dubbed “Guadalajara’s” will be a smaller version of the Mexican restaurant best known for its tableside fresh salsa. The restaurant will seat only 175 inside compared to the 235 to 285 capacity of his Guadalajara Grill Mexican at 4901 E. Broadway and Guadalajara Grill Fiesta at 750 N. Kolb Road.
“That location there is smaller, but I think it’s going to be sort of the right size,” Holzman said. “We have been wanting to get out there into the northwest area and offer what we have as well as some new things.”
The Marana location will offer a daily brunch — from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays through Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays — that will feature breakfast paella, carne asada and eggs, egg skillets, omelettes, tres leches pancakes and churro waffles, in addition to tableside bloody mary service.
In the evenings, the restaurant will add a margarita fountain — think chocolate fountain only this one is filled with fresh margaritas — to its tableside offerings. It also will have a tequila and bourbon bar featuring top shelf bourbons
The scratch-made menu will borrow heavily from Holzman’s two other restaurants including the family-sized Plato Huapango, a platter of grilled chicken, beef tenderloin, shrimp and other seafood served with beans, Mexican rice and a cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped green chile.
“It’s a really fantastic family-style meal,” said Holzman, who introduced the dish on his menu in late 2019. Since he reopened his dining rooms when COVID restrictions were lifted several months ago, the Huapango is starting to catch on with diners.
Holzman said he has wanted to expand to the northwest side for some time. Months after the Village Inn space became available, he started talking to the landlord.
Signs on the building went up last weekend and work to renovate the dining room to improve traffic flow and add more comfortable seating started early this week. Holzman said the kitchen won’t need any renovations and came fully equipped.
In the fall, Holzman hopes to finish a patio that will allow for outdoor dining.
Holzman is hosting a job fair at the new Marana location from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 12. For details, visit ggrill.com.
The other Guadalajara locations are at 1220 E. Prince Road and 7360 N. Oracle Road.