Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Fajita Fiesta is out, Papi’s is in

Fajita Fiesta is officially no longer with us. But don’t mourn them just yet. The family behind the restaurants is running two other restaurants in town.

To catch you up: Fajita Fiesta once had three locations — one on Shaw Avenue, another at Cedar and Nees avenues and the little one downtown that was open for 25 years. They’re all gone now. The Shaw Avenue one is now Guri’s GrubHouse, a farm-to-table gastropub that we’ve written lots and lots and lots about. The Cedar and Nees location closed in 2009 after 10 years (and then became Mateo’s and most recently Uncle’s Bar & Grill, which last week had an eviction notice on the door and a disconnected phone number).

The Fajita Fiesta at Van Ness Avenue and Divisadero Street is now Papi’s Mex Grill Express, with the same family running it. Owner Raul Gutierrez saw the changes happening downtown — new lofts and young people coming in — and decided to tweak his restaurant. Instead of the traditional sit-down meal with waiters and waitresses, the restaurant is now a faster-paced order-at-the-counter affair.

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Guri’s GrubHouse offers farm-fresh food and craft beer

New restaurant Guri’s GrubHouse is open. This restaurant, at 1713 E. Shaw Ave. in the former Fajita Fiesta spot, is a farm-to-table gastropub. To find out more about what those terms mean, and all the creative dishes on the menu at Guri’s, check out my column about the place. Or, watch this video for an introduction to Guri’s. 

Tonight: Party for hurricane relief

Since we sometimes get a good laugh at the oddball things that pass as nightclub promotions in this city, I feel compelled to share when the club promoters and DJs join together to do something nice. That’s what they’re doing tonight. At Fajita Fiesta, the usual Margarita Mondays is on temporary hiatus, making way for an event that aims to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Per the flier, 100% of the money raised goes to American Red Cross.

The Week Ahead: The Growlers, Sen Dog, The Double Doors and unlimited drinks

GET YOUR GROWL ON: Eclectic SoCal rock band The Growlers is at Fulton 55 on Thursday night, making it the hippest night of live music this week. These dudes are definitely on the way up. They’ve been in Visalia a few times. Now it’s Fresno’s turn.

SPEAKING OF VISALIA: the big show out there this week is The Rosebuds playing The Cellar Door on Saturday night.

HELP MIKE FROM STARLINE: There’s a benefit concert Wednesday night for Mike Lemieux, the ex-GM of Starline, who is dealing with some health issues. Read more about it in my column from last Friday.

HOW I COULD JUST KILL A MAN: Not literally, but Sen Dog from Cypress Hill is in town on Saturday night. He’s performing at Babylon.

THE FINALS: Saturday night is the finals of the Central Valley Comedy Competition at ApCal Winery in Madera. The six finalists are locals Johnny Osburn, Chris Cruz and Michelle Rowe, plus out-of-towners Insane Wayne, TJ Young, and Matthew Nouriel.

R.I.P. JIM: Local tribute band The Double Doors do their annual Jim Morrison remembrance on Sunday at Fulton 55. It’s the 40th anniversary of the Doors frontman’s death.

BOOZE NEWS: Sequoia Brewing Co. is hosting a Beer for Boobs fundraiser Thursday at its North Fresno location. Before you get too excited, horny guys, it’s a breast cancer benefit. Rockville is playing. On Saturday night, Fajita Fiesta (the Shaw Ave. location) has an “Unlimited Drinks” night for $30-$40. That’s a new one.

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