The downtown El Torito has closed – and the struggles of its parent company could be to blame.
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The restaurant at 2840 Tulare St. closed suddenly, a sign on the door saying: “We have closed this location and apologize for any inconvenience.”
No one from El Torito or its parent company was immediately available to comment, but the restaurant’s troubled owner has been closing locations around the country for years.
El Torito, Chevys Fresh Mex and Acapulco Restaurant y Cantina are all owned by Cypress, California-based Real Mex Restaurants. The company has filed for bankruptcy twice in the past six years.
El Torito’s parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August. It blamed financial losses, and a failed effort to buy another company, among other reasons.
Another company bought Real Mex Restaurants during the bankruptcy for $47 million. It did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Real Mex had 128 locations in 2012 but was down to 68 recently, according to the website Restaurant Business.
Still, several new restaurants have opened downtown recently: Toshiko Japanese Cuisine, Ohana Pantry, Nevera Juice Bar, Chicken King, USBean Brew Station, On A Roll Sushi at Mezcal Lounge and Cookies N’ Things.
The Fresno El Torito is one of two restaurants flanking La Quinta Inn & Suites, along with IHOP, and is close to Highway 41 access.
As recently as 9 a.m. Sunday, the Fresno El Torito Facebook page was posting about its food. However, in the comments someone running the Facebook page acknowledged that the restaurant did close “some locations.”
More than a dozen El Torito locations are still open in Southern California.