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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


El Saguarito returns to McKale concessions sporting new menu

Brittney Smith
Brittney Smith / The Daily Wildcat Betty Yuriar decorates the concession stand in preparation for Friday’s game.

Due to their inability to afford renewing their contract with the UA, El Charro Cafe’s owners decided to no longer continue serving their food at UA sporting events. In its place, El Saguarito Mexican Food, a longtime Tucson restaurant, has signed a four-year contract to sell and serve its food at the Arizona Stadium and McKale Center.

El Saguarito is not new to the concession stand business. In 1993, it was the first Tucson-based Mexican restaurant with a concession stand at UA sporting events where it vended until being replaced by El Charro in 2005.

Albert Vasquez, the owner of El Saguarito, is excited to return to the UA nine years later.

“[We hope] to put our product out there in the standards we like to,” he said. “[To] put it out in the quality we want and hopefully we’ll be able to break even or make some money.”

Vasquez said the reason he did not continue to vend at games in 2005 was because the restaurant was not able to maintain the expected quality that he desired and make money at the same time, so the restaurant ended its vending before it could get worse.

The menu will include a variety of burritos, quesadillas, churros, chicken, beef and nacho dishes, including a family-sized nacho plate that feeds more than six people.

The menu at Arizona Stadium will be different than the one in McKale Center. The stand’s format in McKale Center is going to be unique, Vasquez said.

“It’s going to be a little different,” Vasquez said. “We’ll probably do some kind of a line where they can come and have dinner before the game.”

Vasquez plans on having a tent where attendees can come sit down and take a minute to watch the game on television screens.

Brett Brestel, director of student concessions with the Arizona Student Unions, said that to replace El Charro, they opened a bid for all food vendors in Tucson.

“The bid went out, I’d say mid-summer, and they got awarded about two or three weeks ago,” Brestel said. “[El Saguarito was] the best bidder so they got awarded the contract.”

There was also a change in the new contract, with the UA using a flat-fee bid process.

“It used to be tied with the marketing and the food vendor, but now it’s just the food vendor end of it,” Brestel said. “They’re not required to be marketing, but it would be preferred to do marketing.”

Other minor changes taking place for concession stands at UA sporting events include adding more shaved ice and snow cone vendors, as well as expanding previous vendors, according to Brestel.

—Follow Jocelyn Valencia on Twitter @DailyWildcat

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