Last Call for Margaritas: Closing day arrives for Highland Park’s El Arco Iris


HIGHLAND PARKEl Arco Iris, a neighborhood fixture for more than half a century, will serve up its last platters of enchiladas de mole and pour its final margaritas on Thursday, April 27.

Jesse Gomez, who owns El Arco Iris with his mother, Angie Montes, confirmed the closure after restaurant patrons posted the news on Facebook.

Montes has been busy saying farewell to customers since early February when the family announced it had sold the York Boulevard restaurant and property to a real estate investment firm.

Gomez said his mother, who manages the Highland Park restaurant, was looking to retire and take care of her mother after spending most of her adult life working at El Arco Iris. That’s why he approached Coda Equities about buying the property and business.

“It was a hard decision,” said Gomez, who co-owns Yxta and Mercado restaurants, told The Eastsider in February. “But we felt it was the right one.”

The new property owners in February said they would be looking for a new tenant once the deal is completed. They did not know if any new development will take place on the site.

Montes and her husband, Gustavo, opened a small Mexican restaurant in the 5600 block of York in 1964. The restaurant moved to larger storefronts on the same block as it expanded and became a neighborhood institution serving up classic Mexican-American cuisine and Margaritas in a dark interior.

Since the family announced the closure, many patrons have expressed their sadness in person and online to El Arco Iris:

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  1. It’s hard to say good bye to a great restraunt my grandmother used to send me every sunday to get her chicken tacos. My grandparents loved that restraunt…Farewell and its been an honor eating there.

  2. A real neighborhood landmark. We had Sunday breakfast here about once a month. Sorry to see it go.

  3. Out with the old, in with the new – adapt or die!

    El Huarache Azteca on York redesigned its interior and customer experience to embrace the ever-evolving landscape of the neighborhood and the place is packed…same amazing food with a new look.

    • Not so good at reading comprehension, eh? They aren’t going out of business due to a lack of success, but rather because they don’t want to operate the business anymore. They will be missed.

    • I find the customer experience at Huarache to be the same as before: crowded front door, unhurried service, good food. We’ve begun to favor their tortas/aguas shop a couple of doors down.

  4. #I like the burritos with my mom and we have a blast they .I miss my mom getting drunk at that place.Close after cinco de mayo.

  5. I’ve lived in the area for 20 years and last year, I finally went to have a sit down meal there. I was honestly not impressed. The friend who brought me there said “You just don’t get it! It’s been here for decades, so it’s more about the atmosphere, not about the quality of the food.” I then said “Oh, that’s why they waited until you got here to acknowledge our existence and give us menus! Got it!”

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