Scottsdale-based Mexican restaurant Jalapeño Inferno announced that it will be expanding to Peoria this fall, just in time for the restaurant’s 21st anniversary. The new location — which joins two long-standing Jalapeño Inferno outlets in North Scottsdale — will be located in the newly renovated Park West outdoor shopping complex at 99th and Northern Avenues, just west of Loop 101.
“We felt there was good energy going on at the center and wanted to be a part of it,” said owner Terry Craig, of the freestanding building that he and his wife, Laura, are leasing at the entry to Park West’s Harkins Theatre. “Park West’s owners are being very aggressive about positioning the property as a lifestyle center, and wanted a new profile of modern restaurants and other tenants. They already host one of the best farmers markets in the Valley every Saturday.”
The Peoria location will be 4,736 square feet, the largest footprint yet for the colorful “bistro Mexicano” concept. Jalapeño Inferno has gained popularity among Scottsdale diners for its authentic fare, which ranges from savory sides like street corn and ceviche to elaborate margaritas to hearty dishes, such as tomatillo chicken enchiladas with cotija cheese. The original location at Scottsdale and Pinnacle Peak Roads opened in December 1999, while the second spot, located in the upscale Market Street at DC Ranch, debuted in October 2014.
The menu will be the same as the two other locations, updated twice a year for seasonal specialties. As always, dishes will showcase locally sourced ingredients, such as tortillas, produce and proteins, with organic options preferred whenever possible.
“I’ll still function as corporate chef and oversee all food and beverage, but we will be looking for a talented, ambitious new chef to handle the day-to-day operations,” said Craig.
Jalapeño Inferno was one of the first restaurants in the Valley to feature Mexico’s beloved street tacos, offering the mini tacos layered with fresh grilled meats, onion, cilantro, chiles and Mexican cheese on double-stacked corn tortillas. It was also one of the first to celebrate clean, natural ingredients, including 100% blue agave tequila and real fruit in its cocktails instead of the more commonly found commercial spirits and mixers. Even after two decades, Jalapeño Inferno’s signature “The Boss” margarita remains very popular for its generous pour of premium blanco tequila, Cointreau and freshly squeezed lime juice on the rocks. Meanwhile, the “Market Street Mixer” caters to the “skinny,” organic drink trend, with certified organic tequila, açaí berry, agave nectar, fresh-muddled strawberry and lime.
The new spot’s décor will incorporate some of the original Jalapeño Inferno statements as well, including spacious covered patios, an indoor/outdoor bar, a patio fire wall (the inferno), courtyard seating and flexible banquet space to accommodate larger groups. The architecture and design work is being performed by BRICK + WEST DESIGN of Phoenix, which is notable for contemporary restaurant clients including the Postino group, Joyride Taco House, Culinary Dropout, CHoP Chandler and Dakota Bar and Restaurant.
Park West is currently undergoing a $4 million renovation under its owner, California-based CIRE Equity. The transformation will feature more contemporary restaurants and shops with an emphasis on local ownership, as well as more family-friendly amenities, including a splash pad play zone for children. The Jalapeño Inferno team is thrilled to join this vibrant setting and bring its delicious, authentic Mexican fare to the West Valley.