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El Charro family to open seafood-centric restaurant in downtown Tucson

The family behind El Charro Café and Charro Steak downtown is opening its first seafood restaurant, increasing the family’s downtown footprint while filling a culinary void in Tucson’s vibrant and growing entertainment and dining corridor.

Charro del Rey could open as early as mid-November in the space at 178 E. Broadway that had been home for about a year to Even Steve Sandwiches, which left Tucson in early August. The location is next door to Charro Steak, which opened in April 2016 on the ground floor of the historic Julian Drew Building, 188 E. Broadway.

El Charro President Ray Flores said the restaurant will pay homage to his father, Ray Sr. whose name was often misspelled “Rey.” But it mostly is a throwback to a bygone era harking to the days of classic cocktails and old-school eats (escargot, Oysters Rockefeller, ceviché, clams casino, flaming Bananas Foster and dry-aged prime rib and Mexican seasoned carpaccio all given a Charro culinary kick. Example: Classic Beef Wellington kissed with molé and ancho chiles.

The menu, being developed by El Charro Chef Carlotta Flores and Charro Steak Executive Chef Gary Hickey, also will include Pacific Ocean-sourced fresh seafood and shellfish steaks, vintage overstuffed baked potatoes, crab cakes, classy cool desserts and Rat Pack-era cocktails.

Charro del Rey will join the Flores’ family’s other restaurants including its flagship El Charro Café at 311 N. Court Ave., which has been a downtown anchor for decades; and Sir Veza’s at the Tucson Mall. The family also owns and operates the historic Stillwell House events center at 134 S. Fifth Ave.

“We want to continue developing landmark experiences,” Flores said. “I think we have a landmark downtown, I think we have a landmark at the Stillwell House. I think we’ve developed a landmark with Charro Steak. Charro del Rey is our new offering in honor of landmark experiences.”

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