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Mike Young, co-founder of Chuy’s, has died

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Mike Young, co-founder of the iconic Austin Tex-Mex restaurant Chuy’s, has died, a company representative confirmed.  

Young opened the restaurant in 1982 with John Zapp on Barton Springs Road in what was an abandoned barbecue joint. Since then, the beloved restaurant known for its idiosyncratic decor has opened many locations in over a dozen states, per its website.

Young helped open other popular Austin restaurants including Shady Grove, which closed in 2020, and Hula Hut.

Young retired as co-chairman and director of the company’s board of directors in 2017, according to Chuy’s.

“It is with great pride that I’ve been able to watch Chuy’s grow from a single unit in Austin, Texas to the successful multi-unit concept that it is today,” Young said in a 2017 company release.

For nearly two decades, Chuy’s was a Texas chain. But in the new millennium, restaurant stakeholders decided to “spread the love” and expand to other states. The first non-Texas Chuy’s location opened in 2009 in Franklin, Tennessee, according to its website. 

“From there, we have been spread­ing our vision of fresh, authen­tic Tex-Mex across the country and bringing what started ​“Deep in the Heart of Tex-Mex” to food and fun lovers everywhere,” the website reads. 

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