Fresno, Clovis seeing new restaurants opening up

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Valley is seeing an explosion of eateries -- from Asian to barbecue and everything in between.

Chef Andy Karsh is making one of his specialties: Thai chicken curry. Next, a plate of honey walnut shrimp. Lately, he's been making a lot of these with the opening of Zen Wok Fusion's second location at Palm and Herndon avenues in Northwest Fresno.

"A lot of our customers we were seeing were coming from Clovis and from North Fresno, so we just kept looking for a good location and then this one came upon us, and we decided to bring Zen Wok to North Fresno," said Craig Dixon, general manager at Zen Wok Fusion.

As the economy picks up, more customers are willing to dine out. For restaurants, that means a bump in business. And with a bump in business, comes expansion. Or a long-awaited return, as is the case for Castillo's Mexican Restaurant in Fresno's Tower District.

"We've been waiting to come back for a long time, and I've been looking. I wanted to start my own restaurant. So this place came up, it was fully equipped, and I jumped on it and I said, 'Dad, look at this place with me,' and he said, 'Yeah, mija, this is a go,'" said Margarita Castillo, owner of Castillo's Mexican Restaurant.

Margarita along with her father, Higinio, of original Castillo's fame, have only been open for about a week, and already they're upping their inventory.

"It's busy since we opened the doors. Constant. It's wonderful. It's overwhelming," said Margarita Castillo.

Down the street, catering company the Painted Table is a couple months away from opening their new restaurant.

And in Old Town Clovis, REV's, an upscale casual eatery, is under construction. While the interior takes shape, owner Brian Velasquez is perfecting his menu.

"The cuisine goes a little bit of what I've pulled maybe from Manhattan, or what we've done in San Francisco, or what we've done in Las Vegas, and we're bringing those here," said Velasquez.

With so many restaurants opening up around town, the competition for your food dollars is fierce. But restauranteurs say the more the merrier.

"You know it's a synergy, the more restaurants in an area, the more people come to that area and just go restaurant to restaurant," said Dixon.

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