Heart EP

Heart EP

Monday, December 2, 2013

How have these El Paso Restaurants been opened for over 50 years?

The Charcoaler and L&J's Cafe are very different restaurants with at least one thing in common. They have both been feeding El Pasoans for over fifty years. In a city of businesses that are here today and gone tomorrow, both have been El Paso staples for over 50 years.  
The Charcoalers' second generation owner, Robert Cox works along side his daughter Christy Cox in the small drive through located on Mesa. Westside high school students visit the Charcoaler drive thru during their lunch breaks much like their grandparents did in the 60's.   
L&J Cafe opened its doors in 1927 as Tony's Place.  Third Generation owner John Duran changed the name to L&J Cafe after his parents Lilia and John. 
When I asked what the secret to their success, both restaurant managers gave me the same answers. The first being loyal customers. Generations of families have been introduced to these restaurants and continue returning as the years go by. Secondly, menu items have not changed. Items may have been added but popular items like the famous Charcoaler burger and L&J's green enchiladas have been in existence from the beginning. And thirdly, the consistency of good service and quality food make all the difference.  It's not only the consistency of the food but also the loyal workers that have worked at these locally owned restaurants for years that help keep the integrity of the menu items. Erika, the bartender at L&J Cafe serve's up the same margarita she started serving 8 years ago.  Henry, has been greeting customers by saying "hello friend" for over ten years at the Charcoaler. The consistency is what keeps patrons bringing their kids back that will some day bring their kids back. "Consistency, good service, and quality food and no fillers", Robert states these were key ingredients to their success. Whether it was the Burger at the Charcoaler or the Steak Tacos at L&J Cafe, rest assured that both are served with a little piece of El Paso's history.  

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