Debbie Tellez and her husband Pedro Ortiz picked up steaks and moved their restaurant to Odell.
Chuby’s Restaurant opened in August, in a freshly-remodeled former cafe space on Odell Highway near Summit Drive. Tellez and Ortiz ran El Sombrero Restaurant for years in the Heights in Hood River, and have brought their menu of Mexican and American food to Odell.
“It’s actually better,” said Tellez, of the change to a more rural location. “We don’t have all the old customers, but we have a lot of new ones.” Tellez and Ortiz miss having their work be close to home, but are enjoying filling a dining niche in that part of the mid-valley. With the move and the expanded menu, a name change was in order, Tellez said.
Civic groups have started to meet at the restaurant, which seats between 35-50 at approximately 14 tables. For orders of 10 or more, Tellez and Ortiz will deliver.
“It’s a new challenge, but it’s working out okay,” Tellez said. Many regulars still make the drive to Chuby’s, which features full alcohol service as well as an expanded menu that includes steaks, seafood, and chicken dishes. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner
Families can dine from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Tellez said. Alcohol is served for longer hours. The restauranteurs closed off a back portion of the restaurant where video poker is offered, but the rest of the space is open to anyone.
Tellez said that the counter area and layout in the building, which they purchased, are not ideal for their needs, but they will remodel down the road. They plan to paint a mural on the main wall, similar to the theme of El Sombrero, which is soon to become an El Tapatio restaurant.