Casa Real’s last day of operations at the corner of Wabash Avenue and Veterans Parkway was May 29, and the building at 3100 W. White Oaks Drive has now been demolished to make way for the construction of Springfield’s first Raising Cane’s, a fast-food restaurant specializing in chicken fingers.
Owner Jose Lopez had already signed a lease for 1121 Linconshire Blvd., the former Quaker Steak & Lube in Legacy Pointe, and originally hoped to reopen within a few weeks. He told SBJ in March that with the new sports complex and other development occurring in the area, he was optimistic about the future growth of Legacy Pointe.
“I think it’s time to get away from all the restaurants on the west side. I see this as investing in the future, moving out toward SCHEELS,” Lopez said. “We’ve all got our fingers crossed, but I think it’s looking a lot better this time,” he said of plans for other development in the area.
However, construction delays, including problems obtaining certain materials and products, led to a much longer renovation process than Lopez had originally planned. But he hopes that people will agree that the “refreshed and revised concept” was worth the wait and said he appreciates his customers’ patience during the transition.
“We went with something more modern and open that accommodated the existing building structure,” Lopez said of the new appearance. The glass garage doors, a holdover from Quaker Steak & Lube, are “a key element to that building; we call it the patio bar.”
The menu has also been revamped, and in addition to core menu items such as fajitas, tacos and burritos, “we’re incorporating some bar bites with a Mexican flare,” said Lopez.
Casa Real Cantina & Grill, as the restaurant will now be known, will hold a soft opening on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
“We’ve added a lot more staff than we had before,” said Lopez. “We’re anticipating a busy flow and want to offer a good first impression to our customers.”
Due to the nearby hotels, Lopez has also extended the operating hours, which are now 11 a.m.-midnight Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Sunday, with the kitchen closing an hour earlier.