Bethany Clough

Empty Chevy's at River Park to get new life: A Brazilian restaurant with lots of meat

Texas de Brazil serves pork ribs and other Brazilian-style meats. The restaurant may be coming to River Park.
Texas de Brazil serves pork ribs and other Brazilian-style meats. The restaurant may be coming to River Park. Texas de Brazil Facebook page

The empty Chevy's in River Park will soon be home to something new and different: A Brazilian restaurant with a Texas flair where 15 kinds of meat are cut at your table.

Texas de Brazil Churrascaria Steakhouse, a national chain restaurant, has filed plans with the city of Fresno for improvements inside the building. The company has also posted job openings on its website, looking for a manager and chef in Fresno. River Park spokeswoman Tracy Kashian confirmed Monday that the restaurant is coming.

It serves churrasco, meats that are slow roasted over an open flame and served with seasonal greens and vegetable dishes. The meats are brought to the table on large skewers and cut for diners. When customers want more meat they place a green card on the table. When they want to take a break, they flip to the red side.

It's not clear when the restaurant would open, though it's likely many months away.

The company is in the very early stages of working on the building. The next step is for Texas de Brazil is to apply for various permits needed before the restaurant can open, said city spokesman Mark Standriff.

The large building has been empty since Chevy's closed in December 2016.

Texas de Brazil has dozens of restaurants nationwide, mostly on the East Coast and in the Southwest. The closest locations are in Las Vegas and Irvine, which is currently the only California location.

The Texas part of the name comes from where the company is based, in Dallas, and the "generous spirit and hospitality that Texas is known for," the website says.

The meats cut at the tables include braised beef ribs, bacon-wrapped filet mignon, leg of lamb and Parmesan chicken drumettes. The menu also includes Brazilian black beans, potatoes au gratin, steamed asparagus and sweet fried bananas. It serves the Brazilian cocktail caipirinha, made with lime, rum and sugar.

It's not the first Brazilian restaurant to come to town, however. Rio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse serves churrasco at Sierra Vista Mall. Samba Brazilian Steakhouse, once located at Palm and Herndon avenues, had servers cutting meat for customers at their tables for years before closing.

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