While many businesses have been struggling since early last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbia Pike has been very fortunate to see its business community continue to grow. Over a dozen new businesses opened in 2020 and now the first new business of 2021 has opened at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Dr.

Los Chamacos is a new restaurant dedicated to serving authentic Mexican cuisine. While Columbia Pike is home to several restaurants serving Latin American and Spanish dishes, there are few in the area dedicated solely to Mexican food. Owner Mrs. Yanez and her team are changing that. Hailing from Aguascalientes, a city in North-Central Mexico, Yanez says she decided to open Los Chamacos to bring a little piece of her culture to Columbia Pike.

“We’re excited to bring a unique blend of Mexican flavors to the neighborhood,” says Yanez. “We think a lot of the dishes you’ll find here will be very different than what you can find anywhere else.”

Los Chamacos’ head chef, Benny, has been working in the restaurant industry for over 20 years and has built a varied menu that is sure to satisfy. Among the dishes on the menu are some familiar favorites for anyone who is a fan of food from south of the border – like huevos rancheros or fajitas – but there are also dishes many customers may be less familiar with – such as a Pambazo Mexicano, a sandwich made with potatoes and chorizo on a toasted Telera bun. Other specialty menu items include authentic barbacoa (goat) and birria (beef).

Despite opening during a pandemic, Yanez says that Los Chamacos has been fortunate to have undergone a fairly smooth process getting settled into the former Cantina Mexicana space at 922 S. Walter Reed Dr.

“Arlington County is a good county to open a business in,” says Yanez. “While the paperwork and permitting process did take longer than we had hoped due to the pandemic, the county and all of our neighbors on Columbia Pike have actually been very supportive and you can tell they actually want us to open.”

Los Chamacos began serving its first customers on January 17. To ensure customer safety, the staff is adhering to a 50% capacity policy for indoor dining and has several sanitizing procedures in place for both the dining areas and kitchen. The restaurant also features an open kitchen set up for diners to be able to observe the food preparation and operations in the hopes of raising customer confidence in dining indoors.

In addition to being open for indoor dining daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (8 am – 10 pm), Los Chamacos is available for delivery on Midline, SeamlessGrubHub, and UberEats.

Los Chamacos’ grand opening celebration is scheduled for Friday, January 22, at 11:45 am. The public can tune into Columbia Pike’s Facebook page to view the ribbon cutting with AED’s BizLaunch team and visit the restaurant throughout the day to take advantage of several specials. And for the remainder of January, kids eat FREE!