The Serrano family will celebrate 100 years as a family owned business in Chandler, Ariz., with a Centennial Fiesta at the Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant location in downtown Chandler from 5-9 p.m. Thurs., Sept. 19, 2019.

The Chandler-based family business launched in September 1919 as The Serrano Brothers Popular Storemaking it the oldest continuously owned family business in the city. With fewer than 1,000 residents in Chandler at the time, The Popular Store sold clothing and other goods to local farmers. It eventually evolved into Serrano’s Department Stores and the family opened several other locations throughout the East Valley and Phoenix. 

“The Serrano family is ingrained in Chandler’s history,” said Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. “Their entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, dedication and family pride has sustained them throughout these past 100 years. We honor their strong ties to the community and their heart of service as they celebrate this incredible milestone.”

By the 1970s, the growing popularity of large department stores and indoor shopping malls took its toll on the family’s independent department stores. Ernie and Eva Serrano decided it was time to transition away from the clothing business. They took a leap of faith and opened a Mexican food restaurant in 1979 (La Casa Serrano – now Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants) in downtown Chandler, and the family has focused on that venture for the past 40 years (Serrano’s Department Store in downtown Chandler closed in 1981). Today, Ernie and Eva’s eight adult children own and operate the restaurants. 

“Our family has seen our fair share of changes and challenges over the years, but we have always been able to adapt. Today, our business model is centered around the values we hold most dear – faith, family and food,” said Ric Serrano, president and CEO of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants. “We look forward to celebrating this big milestone with our loyal customers and we invite new customers to come give us a chance. You can be sure we’ll be breaking out our famous bean dip!” 

At the Centennial Fiesta on Sept. 19, attendees will be treated to $1.00 taco (shredded beef or chicken), rice and bean entrees. At 7 p.m., a taco-eating contest featuring local mayors and representatives from police and fire departments will take place with a prize of $1,000 to be donated to the 100 Club of Arizona benefitting families of fallen police officers and firefighters. There will also be family fun, including face painting, raffle prizes and kids’ activities.

“It’s so incredible that our beloved Serrano’s is celebrating 100 years, and graciously supporting Public Safety through the 100 Club of Arizona in return,” said Angela Harrolle, president and CEO of the 100 Club of Arizona. “100 for 100 sounds like a true match and we are grateful for the partnership!” 

Additionally, Serrano’s will be collecting new children’s books and bears (stuffed animals) for the annual W. Steven Martin Police and Fire Toy Drive. Anyone who brings in a new book or bear donation ($10 value) during the month of September will receive a voucher for a free fried ice cream. 

Also throughout the month of September, the Serrano Centennial Sampler will be on special for $10 and $1.00 from every sale will go to The 100 Club. The Serrano Centennial Sampler highlights some of the most popular classics, including scoops of machaca, shredded chicken, green chile beef and red chile beef, served alongside warm tortillas, rice and beans.   

In honor of the 100th anniversary, Serrano’s will also feature several $1.00 specials at all five locations beginning Sept. 16, 2019:

Monday, 9/16: $1.00 Margarita Monday 10 oz. house margarita

• Tuesday, 9/17: $1.00 Taco Tuesday (street taco, or shredded beef or chicken hard-shelled taco)

• Wednesday, 9/18: $1.00 Hump Day Heavenly Bites

• Thursday, 9/19: $1.00 Throwback Thursday (shredded beef or chicken taco, rice and beans entree)

• Friday, 9/20: $1.00 Fried Ice Cream Friday

Saturday, 9/21: $1.00 Cerveza Saturday 10 oz. draft Mexican beer 

For more information about Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants,  visit