Downtown Tucson welcomed a new culinary gem recently as Chela’s Latin Cuisine made its debut, adding a fresh touch to the vibrant food scene.

Named after its owner, Isela Mejia, Chela’s is the latest venture from the Mejia family, renowned for their long-standing establishment, El Sur, on the city’s east side.

“We just started Chelas about a month ago,” said Isela Mejia, reflecting on the journey that led to the opening of their newest restaurant. “Chelas is my nickname, thats something that my godmother gave me ever since I was small.”

With 22 years of experience behind them, the Mejias have infused Chela’s with the essence of their culinary expertise while introducing elevated dishes to tantalize the taste buds of Tucsonians.

“We brought a little bit of different dishes,” explained Isela, citing influences from her husband’s Honduran heritage and their property in Roatan. “We’re bringing a little bit of stuff from over there, like the Colichi, Camarones Colichi, also like the grilled octopus that weve had on the menu and we will have as specials throughout the week.”

Chela’s isn’t just about the food; it’s a complete dining experience. The addition of a bar allows for innovative cocktails beyond the traditional margaritas and beer, reflecting the Mejias’ commitment to providing diverse options for their patrons.

“We can have more options for other drinks, not just margaritas or beer or micheladas,” Isela noted. “We can do other items too that are specialty cocktails that we made up as well.”

However, what truly sets Chela’s apart is its warm, welcoming ambiancea reflection of Isela’s dedication to personalized service and building meaningful connections with customers.

“It’s more like a home environment,” Isela emphasized. “And thats what I kind of wanted to bring here to the downtown area that extra touch.”

As downtown Tucson continues to evolve, Chela’s Latin Cuisine stands out as a beacon of culinary excellence, inviting diners to savor the flavors of Mexico with a touch of Honduran influence, all served with a generous helping of hospitality.

If you decide to go, Chela’s is located at 256 E. Congress St. at the corner of Congress and Arizona Avenue downtown.

Chela’s is closed on Monday, and open from Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday’s from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday’s from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday’s from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.