Closed for Business: Chaka Chaka

Categories: Laudig

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​I hope you're not hungry for a jerk chicken sandwich with seasoned mayo, hunks of meat, shredded cabbage, basil, and scallions.

That's the signature dish at Chaka Chaka, a tiny eatery on 7th Street, south of Chase Field, that just closed its doors.

Owner Charlie Blonkenfeld says he simply ran out of money. Even though he had loyal customers who'd come weekly from Tempe or Scottsdale to get their jerk chicken sandwich fix (or to fill up on his tasty garlic fries, hot dogs, and egg sandwiches with chorizo), he didn't get enough regular traffic to stay afloat. Insufficient signage might have been an issue, he admits.

For now, Blonkenfeld is doing private catering and can still be reached at the restaurant's number, or though his website.

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10 comments
TheFabulousOne
TheFabulousOne

Charlie is a personal friend, and it breaks my heart to see Chaka Chaka go. I think a food truck would be perfect for him!!!

Tim O'Connor
Tim O'Connor

I've know Charlie for over 15 years, he's a good guy and a hard worker he'll land on his feet somewhere.

DNBjorn
DNBjorn

Sad to see this happen. I loved the Kosher Dog. There were definitely visibility issues though. Hard to operate in that area; which is a pass-through industrial corridor. Having a tiny building that visually sat behind a large green adult video store didn't help either. This is really an indictment of planning not food. The food was excellent and the people were really friendly.

Leigh Gray
Leigh Gray

There's that brutal honesty about the "why" that everyone keeps looking for. Truly tragic.

Alison
Alison

So sad. The chorizo and egg sandwich was amazing!

Dante
Dante

Sounds like a prime candidate for a food truck

Dottsy Z
Dottsy Z

That's exactly what I was thinking!

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