Restaurant News

Celebrate 100 Years of Serrano’s With Killer $1 Specials, Device-Free Dinners

The eight siblings who now run Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants.
The eight siblings who now run Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants. Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants
The family behind Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants has so much to share with you. First, the Serrano name is celebrating 100 years as a family-owned business in Chandler in one way or another (more on that later). Second, what’s a celebration without $1 specials all week? The Serrano siblings would also like to invite you to their Centennial Fiesta in downtown Chandler on Thursday, September 19. And finally, the local Mexican chain has some ideas for the future, like the new device-free dinner concept.

Now let’s unpack all that. We’ll start with some history.

The Serrano family opened its first business in Chandler in September 1919, called The Serrano Brothers Popular Store. It sold clothes and other goods, eventually becoming Serrano’s Department Stores. Then, the malls came in the 1970s. Eva and Ernie Serrano, or Mom and Dad to the eight siblings who now oversee the business, opened a Mexican food restaurant, La Casa Serrano, in 1979. The department store closed for good in 1981, and the restaurant eventually became Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants.

click to enlarge Serrano’s Centennial Fiesta will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on September 19 at the original Serrano’s in downtown Chandler. - SERRANO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANTS
Serrano’s Centennial Fiesta will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on September 19 at the original Serrano’s in downtown Chandler.
Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants
Therefore, Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants will be celebrating 100 years as the oldest continuously owned family business in Chandler with some pretty impressive $1 specials from September 16 to 21, at all five locations.

There will be $1 10-ounce house margaritas on Monday, September 16; $1 tacos on Tuesday, September 17; $1 “Hump Day Heavenly Bites” on Wednesday, September 18; $1 taco, rice, and beans entrees on Thursday, September 19; $1 fried ice cream on Friday, September 20; and $1 10-ounce draft Mexican beers on Saturday, September 21. (All specials are dine-in only and limited to one special per person.)

But Thursday is the big day. Serrano’s Centennial Fiesta will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on September 19 at the original Serrano’s in downtown Chandler. There will be those $1 entrees, yes, but also a taco-eating contest with local mayors and activities like face painting, raffle prizes, and games.

But the Serrano family is also thinking beyond September and their centennial celebration.

In May 2019, Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants kicked off #DeviceFreeDinner — an idea launched by Common Sense, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization “dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families."

click to enlarge Device-free dinner is from 5 to 9 p.m. each Thursday at all five locations of Serrano's. - SERRANO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANTS
Device-free dinner is from 5 to 9 p.m. each Thursday at all five locations of Serrano's.
Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants
From 5 to 9 p.m. each Thursday, all five locations of Serrano’s encourage diners to place their devices in a basket on the table and, if needed, pick up the booklet of conversation starters. These are questions and discussion prompts for all ages. Start thinking now about what animal you’d choose to be and why, or what you’d do with an extra $20.

And if that isn’t encouragement enough, kids’ meals are half off, or $2.49, during this window.

“Our family is celebrating 100 years in business this year and we are taking the opportunity to truly get back to our roots, which are centered around faith, family, and food,” president and CEO of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants, Ric Serrano, says in a press release. He also happens to be the sixth sibling. “The concept of device-free dinners appeals to our values, and we look forward to offering deeply discounted kids’ meals on Thursday nights as well.”

For more information, visit the Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants website.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.