Chago's Belmont Cantina, Braden Simmons
Chago’s Belmont Cantina will return to Belmont Boulevard under new management this fall.
The Belmont Boulevard staple will return after former owner Chad Head announced the closure of the cantina’s doors for the final time last fall. Students may have been wondering what would happen to the location. That was until an announcement was made last spring that Chago’s would return under new management.
Steven Smithing, Christopher Smithing and Brandon Styll are reviving the restaurant this fall.
They had been searching for a new location to revamp and found what they were looking for with this location.
With Chago’s Belmont Cantina now in the fold, this will be the trio’s third restaurant alongside Mere Bulles and Green Hills Grille.
Styll wants patrons to know that they should expect a new and unique experience from the previous iteration.
“It's going to be different,” he said. “And we feel that while they did a great job of serving the community for 11 years, we want to put our stamp on it.”
And one way they are already doing this is through an updated menu.
Many previous items will be featured for opening day including burritos, tacos and queso. The queso recently became a mainstay at the Green Hills Grille as a permanent menu item after testing.
“We have to do food differently than they did there,” Steven Smithing said. “And one of the reasons we grew the kitchen was so that we could do a little bit broader range of items.”
Customer feedback will be pivotal for the menu and restaurant as the trio seeks to create an atmosphere that’s about more than just quality food.
“We're a place that you can feel comfortable being at. We're going to remember you,” Styll said. “It's not just a transactional thing.”
Chago’s plans to open its doors to patrons in early September.
The reopening of Chagos is important for many in the Belmont community, said Hadley Thomas, a junior Music Therapy major.
“Some of the spots around campus are kind of hit-or-miss sometimes, but Chagos was always consistently really good,” she said.
Thomas also said that it was important for the location to reopen not only because of its mythos as a staple in the campus experience but also as one of the best places within walking distance.
Thomas is excited to see these upcoming changes to the cantina in action this fall.
“With the revamp of the menu, and with it being completely different - that's just new options to try,” she said.
While it may not be the same Chago's Cantina, the newly rebranded Chago’s Belmont Cantina looks to build on the spirit of its predecessor as a hub for students and locals alike.
This article was written by Braden Simmons