Federico’s giving downtown a try, too

Federico Cardenas works in the kitchen of the second Federico’s restaurant that opened July 31 on Beale Street.

Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.

Federico Cardenas works in the kitchen of the second Federico’s restaurant that opened July 31 on Beale Street.

KINGMAN – Two weeks into his second Mexican restaurant business, Federico Cardenas is more than satisfied with the steady stream of customers that have found their way to the former Roadrunner Café location on Beale Street.

“It’s been better than we expected,” Cardenas said Wednesday from the kitchen where he was preparing a taco platter as a busy lunch hour was winding down.

Cardenas opened Federico’s on July 31, adding to the restaurant he’s owned for two years at 1470 E. Northern Ave. He estimated an investment of $60,000 to $80,000 in the new restaurant, and said he has more to renovate, including windows, blinds and kitchen equipment.

He spent about $1,300 on a new sign.

“Having that other location helped us big time,” he said, “so everybody knew us, but it was too far to go up to Northern, I guess. That’s what paid for this.”

Business volume at the Beale restaurant has nearly equaled that of the Northern restaurant, which is an anomaly, as it usually takes a new restaurant more time to build its customer base, Cardenas noted.

“We’re seeing more tourists come through, especially at night before the motels close,” he said. His business is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

He runs $1 specials on mini tacos on Monday, and regular-size tacos for $1.25 on Tuesday. Prices are about the same as the Northern location, but they’re going up when minimum wage hits $11 an hour next year, the business owner said.

“Kingman has been really good to us. Most of the (customer) comments are that they can taste the freshness,” Cardenas said.

Federico’s offers traditional Mexican fare such as tacos, burritos, tostados and enchiladas, and is operated independently of Federico’s Mexican restaurants in the Phoenix area.

The Roadrunner Café was a retro diner that served breakfast and lunch only, and was never able to fully recover from the recession.

“I think it’s a great location on Beale, right off (Route) 66. We really tried to get this location and invested a lot, so it’s paid off,” Cardenas said.