A Mexican Restaurant With a Rich History

This is an account of an ordinary family who grew to be known about the town of phoenix as the people who serve the best Mexican food. The Garcia family wasn't always in the public eye as it is today. This story is to let those people who have been with us for years and those who have not known exactly how and where this all began.

The history of the tale returns us to a nostalgic period. It was a time when two young people full of ambitions and goals, set their minds to making a dream come true.


A young man by the name of Julio M Garcia had just returned to the valley after spending 3 years in the service. Upon his arrival he took a job as a mechanic for Butane. He returned to a woman by the name of Olivia Salazar, they were married shortly thereafter and began to build a life together. One year later in 1947 the Garcia’s had their first child. They named her Maria being the industrious couple they were they wanted the best for their new addition and it was time to expand on their living quarters. In fact, the Garcia's ventured out of their element and became one of the first Mexican families to move into the very same location they are now. Soon enough friendliness was bestowed upon the Garcia family and Olivia began to win the hearts of the neighborhood to congregate for festivities, food and fun. While other women brought desserts and casseroles Olivia brought her Mexican dishes. She received more of an audience than she thought she ever would. Then Olivia posed and idea that would drastically alter the life in which they were accustomed.

Olivia had a notion to open up a restaurant. She had such excellent feedback about her food that she decided to take a chance and become a restaurateur. Julio had his reservations. But gave the go ahead, retaining his job at Butane for financial security. In 1956 Olivia together with the support of her husband and a few more family members opened up the first of a long line of restaurants.

The first of the Garcia's restaurants was nothing more than a mere taco stand. But for the Garcia family this was to become their livelihood. The stand had two picnic tables, but quickly expanded to four. With all that Mexican food passing hands they had to wash it down with something, so they kept a showcase refrigerator always stocked with Barq's soda. There were only two windows where all the transactions took place. As for decor, the little restaurant had the home sweet home look of white-washed walls, dried chilies and sombreros. It wasn't fancy but it was good. So there the family stood, behind the counter from morning until night working together for a brighter future.

Their clientele had grown so large they had to move in order to accommodate them. This is also about the time when the frugal Julio decided to devote himself to the success of the newly located restaurant. There the business flourished and with acquisition of a new building also came 3 more children. Theresa, Julio Jr., and Paul As the children got older they found themselves in the restaurant helping out any way they could.

The legacy was about to expand further. The Garcia family had decided to open up an additional restaurant. With the help of Maria and her husband Richard, Garcia del Este was born. The venture was extremely well received and quickly prospered. Again the family business had taken yet another step when daughter Theresa successfully opened Garcia’s del Metro. Finally Garcia’s Las Villas made it's way into the Garcia Lives. About now the Garcia's began to run out of children to open restaurants so they turned elsewhere. With some financial assistance Garcia’s had become a multi-national franchised chain called Garcia’s of Scottsdale. The business spread far and wide, but the fact that it was no longer solely a family oriented business, the Garcia’s sold their interest. The family restaurants located in the valley were sold to the Garcia’s of Scottsdale chain. therefore no longer owned and operated by the family.

However the family did not discontinue preparing excellent authentic dishes for its public. Julio and Olivia opened the present Garcia’s las Avenidas. The tradition of good food, good service still continues today.

Julio and Olivia have created a generation of restaurant successes for their children and hopefully one day their grandchildren. The success of Garcia’s is attributed to Julio’s financial foresight, continual support of his wife Olivia, and his good old-fashioned business sense.

Written with pride by their granddaughter,
Eve Adrian Lipson