Columbus restaurant closing original location after 32 years, but reopening another

Jack McLaughlin

While Chili Verde Cafe is closing its long-standing original location, fans of the concept will still be able to enjoy its enduringly-popular take on the cuisine of New Mexico at its second location.

According to to Chili Verde owner Tom Anthony, the restaurant plans to close its original storefront, which located at 4852 Sawmill Rd., on Jan. 28. This location has been open since Chili Verde first launched in 1991.

Anthony referred to the decision as a “consolidation,” since the concept’s other Polaris-area restaurant, which is located at 1522 Gemini Pl., will reopen on Jan. 29. The Gemini Place location temporarily closed yesterday for renovations.

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“Personally, this is sad news to me. I remember when I took over 21 years ago, my son Tommy was just born, and now he’s in college. I have two girls in high school. And the memories, I will always cherish; there are so many of them” Anthony said in a video posted to Chili Verde Cafe’s Facebook page. “But this is the best move for, I believe, the business. It’s the best move for our family.”

According to Anthony, the staff of its original location will move to the Polaris-area restaurant. The move will also afford the concept the ability to do more than it previously could between two locations.

“This move will allow us to get back to fresh salsa and dinner features, roll out an exciting New Mexican breakfast later in the year, and of course build our first patio, which will open later in the spring,” Anthony said. “Also, we will have more cooking space for our catering company.”

To commemorate the Sawmill Road location, Chili Verde Cafe is inviting customers to visit the location before it closes to fill out a card detailing their favorite memories from the soon-to-close spot. These “memory cards” will then be hung on the wall of the Gemini Road location as a keepsake. 

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