In 1967, Stella Cordova spotted a "Cook Wanted" sign in the window of the Chubby’s Burger Drive Inn at 38th Avenue and Lipan Street and started the following day earning just $0.85 an hour at the age of 59. Two years later, she owned the take-out-only eatery and added her now-famous green chili to the menu. Though she passed away at 100 years of age, the historic restaurant maintains its draw, and now, though it has a new home as of last Friday, the charm, character and menu will continue on as well.
The new building – just a few feet from the original location – takes up 3,200 square feet and seats 136 diners. Guests still place their orders at the registers in front, and Spanish flies freely and rapidly back and forth between the guests, front-of-house and kitchen staff and Chubby’s staff knows devoted customers by name and order. The iconic smothered burritos and Mexican hamburgers still draw a crowd, as neighbors and frequenters wrap around the space waiting to order. Soft-serve ice cream is a new addition to the dine-in offerings as well.
The 49-year-old, grab-and-go location next door will be leveled to make room for a parking lot. The new space is significant for the celebrated burrito eatery, which is currently operated by Stella’s grandson, Danny Cordova. Over the years, other family members have opened restaurants, some incorporating "original" into their names as well. On eat wall of the true original is a sign that reads;: "Alex and Stella Cordova – since 1967."