Nando’s Mexican Café, a southeast Valley mainstay for nearly 20 years, has chosen Maricopa to build its fifth restaurant, with a target opening date in the first quarter of 2023.

The restaurant will be located in Edison Pointe, at the northeast corner of Edison Road and John Wayne Parkway, on land between Planet Fitness and IHOP.

Tim Shaughnessy, a co-owner of Nando’s, said he expects to break ground later this month and take possession of the building in November.

“It will take us somewhere around three months once we get into the building until we open for business,” he said. “There are obviously some supply chain issues, especially with the restaurant equipment. The best case would be opening in January of next year, the worst case would be March.”

Shaughnessy said Nando’s will be just under 5,000 square feet and accommodate up to 170 guests indoors. A 900-square-foot patio will seat another 60 and be available for large parties or private gatherings.

“Our bread and butter is large parties and special occasions,” Shaughnessy said. “We can accommodate parties of up to 60 people. If someone wants the entire patio, we can do that if it’s not a weekend night. We can also do buffets on the patio. I’ve seen the need here for a while. I spent a lot of time out here playing softball, and we could never find a place big enough to accommodate the whole team.”

Nando’s will be a significant job creator, hiring 50-60 employees, about half of whom will be full time. Management positions will be filled internally, according to Shaughnessy.
“Management is already in place from other restaurants,” he said. “We try to train our people well and hire from within. Most of our managers have been with us for about 15 years.”

There will be plenty of employment opportunities for residents, he said.

“We hope to hire a lot of local residents and school kids as bussers, hosts and servers,” he said.

Nando’s specializes in Sonoran-style Mexican cuisine – enchiladas, tacos, burritos – and caters to a broad audience by offering “the favorites people look for when they go out for Mexican food,” he said. “But we have a lot of unique items as well that set us apart from other places.”

He said Nando’s will bring its popular weekend brunch menu to Maricopa.

Rendering of the bar at Nando’s Mexican Cafe in Maricopa. [House of Form / Nando’s Mexican Cafe]
“We’ll start with Sundays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.,” he said. “We have a unique brunch menu featuring things you don’t see other places like our Sonoran eggs benedict with a masa patty instead of an English muffin, green chile pork and eggs, biscuits and chorizo gravy and breakfast nachos.”

The sit-down restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Shaughnessy said the bar will follow the restaurant hours unless they determine there is enough demand for it to stay open later.

Happy hour will run from 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday with unique offerings like tequila flights and unique food items like chorizo and bean tacos, fajita quesadillas and Mexican sliders.
Nando’s was founded in 2003 in Gilbert and has added three other locations – Mesa, Chandler and Queen Creek – over the last 18 years.