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Welcome to El Beso

Former Las Chalupas Undergoes Renovations, Name Change

Writer & Photographer / Andi Robinson

If you live in the Center Grove area and love Mexican food, then you have probably heard of Las Chalupas. If you are one of the many people who frequently visit this location you probably also know co-owner Joanna Santillan. Many people who enjoy the food at Las Chalupas also know the employees and other wait staff by name, and the staff know many people’s order by heart.

It is this sense of family and community that drives Santillan, who recently took 100 percent ownership of the location. To her, this is more than just a restaurant. She wants everyone who comes through the doors to feel like part of the family. Her own children, in fact, have practically grown up there.

Las Chalupas actually came to the area 15 years ago and has been in several locations in Bargersville and Center Grove. Five years ago, Santillan became co-owner and manager of the restaurant at its current location on the corner of SR 135 and Whiteland Road. Over the past five years, Las Chalupas has grown a loyal following of families, friends and even co-workers who come for lunch and dinner, to celebrate special occasions, to hold meetings and more.

Some of the restaurants popular dishes include Fajitas, Arroz con Pollo, Super Quesadillas, Chimichangas and Pollo Fundido.

The restaurant has been undergoing a lot of changes recently, including a name change. The new name, El Beso, has a significant meaning for Joanna and her husband Fernando. What does El Beso mean in English? The Kiss. It might seem like an odd name for a restaurant, but there is a story behind it.

Fernando is from Guanajuato, Mexico where there is a legend about an area called El Callejón del Beso (The Alley of the Kiss) where a Romeo and Juliet-style love story happened. This was the first place that Fernando took Joanna when they traveled to his hometown for the first time.

Other changes include new stone walls on the interior and turning their party room into a beautiful bar area. Joanna says the changes are more authentic to what you would typically find in cities in Mexico, very rustic and natural. Luckily, they have been able to make all of these changes during the off hours so they have not needed to close the restaurant during the renovations.

There will be several other changes over the coming months, including an updated and seasonal menu and signature drinks. El Beso will be adding signature dishes that they have not had in the past, too. They are also planning special events such as a karaoke night and live bands.

What has not changed? Joanna and her team are still there to serve all of their loyal and new customers. In fact, they have had the same head chef for the past five years. And yes, the food that you have come to love will be the same.

You can learn more about El Beso by visiting their Facebook page.

About Andi Robinson

Andi Robinson is a marketing professional specializing in content marketing and social media. She, her husband and two teenage boys are long-time Center Grove residents.

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