Third time has to be a charm, right? Pasadena’s Paseo Colorado is gambling on yet another Mexican restaurant to join the ranks of chains in the outdoor mall: El Cholo has officially opened, moving from its original Pasadena digs on Fair Oaks. Brigham Yen says it was bustling on a recent holiday Sunday, which is a good sign. The last two tenants didn’t have as much luck.
When Border Grill opened, it was never as full as the P.F. Chang’s in front of it; it closed after a year or so. And that was a Susan Feniger-Mary Sue Milliken restaurant, two well known established chefs. Maybe it was a lack of interest from Pasadeans, or maybe it was the lack of signage around the mall–you didn’t know Border Grill was there unless you knew it was there.
The last spot, Paseo Cantina, was barely a blip on the radar. We just remember seeing waitresses in really heavy skirts pushing pedestrian Mexican fare. Of course, El Cholo is a longstanding Los Angeles name, with five other locations, including the original which opened in 1927 and still stands on Western Boulevard today. Hopefully the promise of green corn tamales, a fire pit and gurgling fountain on the patio, and plenty of margaritas will have more of a draw.