WE'RE OPEN: El Guero Canelo Restaurants

Posted at 8:36 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 01:32:35-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- El Guero Canelo is a legend in Tucson thanks to its Sonoran hot dogs. All three locations are back open, but for takeout and delivery only.

That's not likely to change anytime soon.

"Everything to go," said owner Daniel Contreras. "No open restaurants yet. I don't want to play the sorry way. I want to play the safety way."

Contreras is adamant about the safety his El Guero Canelo employees and his customers. He even paid to resurface part of his parking lot at the Oracle location just to add a drive-thru.

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That addition was another financial hit to his popular restaurant.

"It's tough," he said. "It's very, very tough."

Contreras did receive federal funding, but like many small business owners, he is concerned about the strict federal guidelines. It could mean another financial hit down the road.

"If you don't complete the rules you have to payback at 4-percent."

Contreras is famous for bringing the Sonoran hot dog to Tucson, but he maintains strong ties to his hometown of Magdalena, Sonora. He owns a bakery and tortilla factory there.

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That doubles his concern for his employees during the pandemic.

"Mexico, USA -- same rules, same problems," Contreras said. "Business closed, factories closed. Same thing."

Nonetheless he's been able to keep those facilities open, assuring a supply of tortillas and baked goods for his trio of restaurants in Tucson.

"I can bring the products to here, no problem," he said. "They didn't close the commercial border."