Think back through the years. There were a lot of great places to congregate, a bunch of fun places to swing into after work with friends and co-workers. Have a beverage or two, maybe a bite to eat. Just relax.

Do you remember doing just that very thing at Chi-Chi's?

Well, if you do you have a pretty good memory. At least you can remember as far back as 2004. You see, there hasn't been a Chi-Chi's restaurant in the United States (or Canada) since 2004.

But there was a day when it seemed like Chi-Chi's were everywhere.

KXRB logo
Get our free mobile app

Founded in 1975 in Richfield, Minnesota, things were going so well for Chi-Chi's that by 1995 there were 210 locations! People loved swinging into Ch-Chi's for some delicious food and a margarita. It was a favorite for stopping after work with friends and colleagues, maybe a little complaining about the boss and gossip.

Well, that was 1995. That was then and this is now. In fact, just nine short years later they were gone, none in the U.S.

So, whatever happened to Chi-Chi's?

Well, Chi-Chi's filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and about a month or so later Chi-Chi's was hit with the largest hepatitis outbreak in U.S. history, with at least four deaths and 660 other victims of illness in the Pittsburgh area.

After settling lawsuits in 2004, there were just 65 restaurants left and then they went away, too.

But Chi-Chi's still lives, at least in a way. You can still purchase Chi-Chi's products such as a variety of salsa's. But as for the restaurants?

Well, we won't be stopping by Chi-Chi's for a margarita anymore.

Wikipedia Contributed To This Article



More From KXRB