Our Story

The Original Chuy's Started in 1982 in Austin, Tx.

Chuy's opened on April 16, 1982 in an old, abandoned Texas Barbeque joint on iconic Barton Springs Road in Austin, TX. There was seating for about sixty, a women's restroom the size of a broom closet and a men's restroom that was, well, outside. Founders Mike Young and John Zapp had a vision of a fun and funky Tex-Mex restaurant that served authentic and fresh food in an atmosphere that appealed to everyone. From these humble beginnings Chuy's was born.


"If you've seen one Chuy's,
you've seen one Chuy's"

Mike and John, along with their "decorator" Jose Cuervo, made some interesting decisions on restaurant decor, due to lack of money and creativity of their "designer". Those Chuy's touches you love, like the hand-carved wooden fish "swimming" from the ceiling, hubcaps hanging bright and shiny above your booth and the Elvis shrine started with Mike and John and are still alive today. Although we say, "If you've seen one Chuy's, You've seen one Chuy's, " we still like to keep a few of these original eclectic touches in each of our restaurants.


We don't take anything seriously, except our food

Tex what? While we refer to our food as “Tex-Mex”, our menu is made up of a combination of flavors, with recipes and ingredients from across New Mexico, Mexican border towns, the Rio Grande Valley, deep South Texas, Austin and beyond. Our Green Chile sauce recipe was “borrowed” from a little hole-in-the-wall in Española, New Mexico, and our fajita marinade is an old South Texas family recipe (used at some “infamous” South Padre Island beach parties.) Mike and John wanted to bring FRESH to Tex-Mex, and that commitment to food is still the core of everything Chuy's does today.


Bringing Tex-Mex to the People

In the late 2000's, with only fifteen restaurants around Texas, we decided it was time to let the universe in on our little Tex-Mex secret. It just didn't feel right to keep our made from scratch dishes and out of this world service and atmosphere to ourselves anymore. With that desire to "spread the love," we opened the first Chuy's outside of Texas in the Nashville, TN suburb of Franklin in November of 2009. From there we have been spreading our vision of fresh, authentic Tex-Mex across the country and bringing what started "Deep in the Heart of Tex-Mex" to food and fun lovers everywhere.