Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen opened in Katy on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and is built on excellence, said Gringo’s Chief Marketing Officer Heather McKeon.
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The 9,812-square-foot restaurant is located at the Grand Crossing Shopping Center at 230 W. Grand Parkway S. and seats up to 290 guests. It is the company’s second Katy-area location, along with its sister concept, Jimmy Changas, not far away on Westgreen Boulevard. This will be the 14th Gringo’s across the greater Houston area.
“I think quality can be in all aspects of the restaurant, from our quality of ingredients to the quality of the equipment that we use to make our food, the quality of the people we hire, down to the builders, you know, the quality ingredients,” McKeon said, adding that mostly everything at the new restaurant is prepared in house with key ingredients like chicken that is delivered six days a week.
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McKeon said Gringo’s boils down to the people they employ and serve.
“It’s from the heart that we’re in the people business. We want the right people coming in the back door. We want people coming in the front door. And so we just happen to serve rice and beans for a living,” she explained.
Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen, McKeon said, relies heavily on the communities it serves for its restaurants’ success. She said the company is looking forward to having a highly visible location right on the Grand Parkway.
McKeon explained that the value brings people back to Gringo’s and said a family of four that is not drinking cocktails can eat for less than $50.
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When a new location opens, it is an all-hands-on-deck experience, with the company’s top officers working alongside restaurant staff members to answer phones, fill chip baskets and seat guests. Gringo’s Katy held mock service events leading up to the opening, where McKeon heard from different guests who had grown up eating at other locations and were excited to bring their own families to the new location.
As Gringo’s restaurants were shifting gears and adapting to best serve their guests amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Katy location plowed ahead and opened largely on schedule, McKeon said.
Gringo’s offers dine-in and curbside pick up options.
“With COVID and everything that has happened, we recognize the importance of having really great curbside options. We have nine spaces, so all you have to do is park, text and we’ll walk it out to you,” McKeon said.
She noted that competition is a healthy process and that while she hopes Katy-area residents will enjoy the new restaurant once or twice a week, all restaurants need help during these uncertain economic times.
McKeon admitted that opening a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic was a challenge, but Gringo’s was diligent in making sure that new employees had in-depth training from seasoned employees.
“Rather than send the new employees to other locations to learn, we brought the trainers here to our restaurant so they could really learn how to deliver excellence to our customers,” McKeon said.
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Some features of the new Gringo’s include a vaulted ceiling in the foyer, custom murals, a wraparound bar and old West decor with a modern touch. Guests can enjoy classics like pollo marisco, burrito con queso, sizzling fajitas and its signature green sauce. Additionally, a full bar menu, including the Cadillac margarita, is available.
The new location is not offering its full menu yet due to supply and logistical issues caused by COVID-19. The menu features about 90 percent of its usual items, and McKeon estimated the full menu will return in 2021.
The Grand Crossing location is the third Gringo’s restaurant on Grand Parkway. The New Caney and Sugar Land restaurants are also directly off the Grand Parkway. Gringo’s is part of the Jimmy Changa’s restaurant chain, which also has a location in Katy.
The restaurant is now open for full service and curbside from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Follow the Katy location on Facebook @gringoskaty or visit www.gringostexmex.com for more information.