By Steven Totten, as featured in Phoenix Business Journal
A 40-year-old Valley Mexican restaurant is opening a new location at a shopping center in north Phoenix.
Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Restaurant will open its fourth location at 2501 W. Happy Valley Road, slated to open mid to late July, preceded by a soft opening, according Jov O’Brien, general manager for the new location.
“We like the area. We feel like it’s growing a lot,” he said. “We expect to have really big crowds so we want to make sure we’re getting it right.”
The 7,500-square-foot space was formerly a TGI Friday’s. Carlos O’Brien’s will use much of TGI’s old furniture and equipment, as well as its employees.
“TGI did a lot of work getting out their branded stuff,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien estimates that the family is spending a couple hundred thousand dollars to make sure the space fits the Carlos O’Brien aesthetic. The new restaurant will also be taking some of the former TGI Friday’ s employees.
“They had a fully staffed restaurant,” he said. “We wanted to give their people a chance, since they’re are qualified to work in a restaurant.”
O’Brien expects to hire around 40 for the new space.
Chuck Wells, managing partner of CBC Advisors, brokered the deal.
Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Restaurant has been operating in the Valley for 40 years. It has locations in Scottsdale, Phoenix and Avondale. O’Brien said there could be more potential locations in Gilbert, Chandler and Glendale as well.