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Yoni and Alana Vargas, far left, opened Chameleon Cuisine at 400 E. Walnut St. on June 11.
Provided by Chameleon Cuisine LLC
Yoni and Alana Vargas, far left, opened Chameleon Cuisine at 400 E. Walnut St. on June 11.

Food truck opens brick-and-mortar eatery

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Chameleon Cuisine LLC is adapting to a new environment with the weekend debut of a brick-and-mortar restaurant.  

The food truck, which offers a mix of Mexican, American and vegetarian dishes, has operated at breweries, farmers markets and events around the Springfield area since March 2020. Co-owner Alana Vargas said the winter months proved to be a challenge to maintain sales volumes out of a food truck. 

The challenge was answered with the signing of a lease for the former downtown space occupied by Aviary Cafe and Creperie LLC. 

“We actually saw the property previously when it was Aviary and had lunch there and always loved it,” Vargas said this morning of the location at 400 E. Walnut St. 

She said Chameleon Cuisine signed on for two years with The Big Ugly Building Co. Aviary closed its downtown location in 2020. Vargas declined to disclose the lease rate or startup costs. 

Vargas said Chameleon Cuisine originally opened in 2017 in San Diego. She and her husband and food truck co-owner, Yoni, moved to Springfield in spring 2020 so she could attend graduate school at Missouri State University. She said Yoni has been working in the restaurant industry since he was 15. 

The menu includes tacos, burgers and a mix of seasonal offerings. Prices range $6-$15.50. 

“Everyone always asks what type of food we are and it’s so hard to answer. We’re a little bit of everything. If you want some Mexican tacos or if you want a burger, you can have it,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons we wanted to be called Chameleon Cuisine because we’re always changing.” 

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