Charro Mexican Restaurant to open in April

Charro Mexican Restaurant is coming to Springfield.

The family-owned business started in the St. Louis area and also has locations in Taylorville and Decatur. Now, owner Ezequiel Camacho has purchased the building at 2500 Sunrise Dr. and is in the process of remodeling it for a fourth Charro's location.

“Back in 2011, I was planning to open a second location in St. Louis,” Camacho said. The original Charro’s is in Chesterfield, Missouri. “But one of my workers told me about a place in Taylorville that was closed and for sale.”

Camacho decided to open his second restaurant in Taylorville instead, and it now occupies 10,000 square feet in a shopping center he has named Charro Plaza. He also opened a home goods store, Camacho’s Home Center, in the space next to his restaurant.

Camacho then continued his expansion into central Illinois. “Three years ago, there was a location in Decatur that used to be a Bennigan’s. I bought that building and made it into a Charro’s,” Camacho said. “Now I've bought the old Char House property in Springfield.”

Springfield Char House closed in 2020 after just under five years in business, citing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The property in Whitney Business Park, just off South Dirksen Parkway, has been vacant ever since.

Camacho said he’s in the process of finalizing his liquor license and working with the Sangamon County Health Department. He hopes to have the restaurant open by mid-April.

Rancho Chico held a grand opening last month in the former Cancun building across the street, but Camacho said he is not concerned about having another Mexican restaurant close by, noting that there are a couple of others along the South Dirksen corridor as well.

“It doesn’t bother me; your success all depends on how you take care of your customers and the presentation for your product,” he said. “We’re unique, and I do things a little bit differently than my competitors. I’ve had good success with my other restaurants.”

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