This year marked the 40th anniversary since the opening of Chris Madrid’s. This means 40 years of welcoming you through our doors, working our hardest to satisfy with the best burgers in town but more importantly quality service and customer care. We care for you, and it is because of our family’s deep connection with the SA community that we invite you to embrace a new chapter in the life of the restaurant with us.
In the Beginning
In the beginning we were just a few spool tables outside of an old building. We were a young owner with a vision, a hard-working wife, and committed family members dedicated to bringing Chris’s vision into fruition. Coupled with loyal friends who frequented “The Place” as some of our first customers called it, Chris Madrid’s quickly evolved into a cherished locale where all walks of life felt welcome. When frequently asked what made the burgers so great Chris would respond with a smile every time, “We just make them with love!”
In the beginning years most would experience Chris, his brother Carlos, or his sister, Diana’s, smiling faces and feel welcomed instantly. He probably greeted you first-hand and asked you how your son was faring in college or if your grandmother had recovered from surgery. In the later years this changed as Chris spent less time at the restaurant and more time chasing his grandkids around. But if you frequented Madrid’s during those later years you would still feel embraced by Diana, who remembers folks who payed visits to the restaurant in the early 80’s and knows most customers by name. Or perhaps you sat at the bar (now “Jimmy’s Bar”) and Jimmy knew what beer you wanted before you cracked a grin. It is this relational community that Chris created from the very beginning that we believe keeps customers coming back for more. And of course, that tostada burger…
Time of Transition
In March of 2012 Chris passed away suddenly, shaking us as a family and community deeply. The last five years since then have been marked with transition, but our commitment to quality food and customer service has not skipped a beat. In March of 2014 Chris’s son-in-law stepped in and has been overseeing and maintaining Chris’s original vision from the beginning: great food, great service – and “keep it simple” as Chris always said.
This year, our 40th anniversary year, also marks the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Chris Madrid’s. Since Chris’s passing five years ago, we as a family have been carefully considering what the future of the restaurant would look like in his absence. We all felt very strongly that we wanted to see the legacy of service, excellence, and joy that has characterized our business for so long continue for years to come. But, we also realized that the time had come for us to pass along the responsibility of ensuring that legacy to someone else – someone with both a deep respect for what Chris Madrid’s has been, as well as a compelling and positive vision for where it can go from here.
We believe we have found such a person in Richard Peacock. Richard, along with GM Nelly Mendoza and their talented staff, operates Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine. Their Alamo Heights restaurant is remarkably similar to Chris Madrid’s in the way they love their customers and care for their employees. This year they are celebrating their own anniversary, their 20th – and over those years they have demonstrated not only great skill in operating a successful restaurant, but also a gracious and generous relationship with the broader community in which they serve. The Peacocks love Chris Madrid’s, and they are excited to embrace the Chris Madrid’s community as they continue to build upon the great legacy you have helped create and sustain here at Hollywood and Blanco.
It is not without sadness that we, as a family, exit the restaurant business and this chapter in our lives. But, it is also with deep vigor and excitement that we pass this torch on to another family who is committed to the same legacy that Chris started 40 years ago – relationships, quality food, and excellent service. And, of course, making every burger with love.
Carolyn, Lisa, & Michael Madrid