After 27 years, the original Toledo’s Mexican Restaurant with the tree-filled patio on North Blackstone Avenue is moving.
The family-run restaurant will reopen in what its owners call a bigger and better location at the northeast corner of Cedar and Nees avenues, likely in June.
And until they do, happy hour will last all day, every day at the old location.
The north Blackstone restaurant was the first of the four Toledo’s to open (the Toledito’s Mexican Restaurant downtown is separately owned by another relative).
But its parking lot is tiny and the building is dated.
“We want it to be the Blackstone location, but better. Our goal is to keep improving and keep up with all of the new restaurants that are opening,” said Jesse Toledo. He’s the son of Sam and Martha Toledo, who founded the business and still work there. His siblings Carmen and Andrew also help run the restaurants.
The new restaurant will be bigger, with a bigger kitchen. It will have a full, sit-down bar, something the current one doesn’t have. It will expand from three beer taps to 20. And there will be more tequila, he said.
But it won’t have a patio at all.
Toledo’s existing patio is unique in Fresno. With a tiny indoor area, the patio out back – many times bigger – had tables arranged around trees, a few with literal cutouts to wrap around trees.
Completely enclosed and with carpet on the ground, it stayed mostly cool and mostly warm with evaporative coolers and heaters depending upon the season.
Toledo said they’re taking the charm of the patio with them to the new place, it’s just indoors.
“It’s almost like we’re taking the Blackstone location with us,” he said. “We searched and searched for something that would really fit who we are. This place seems to work really well.“
It’s in Parkwood Plaza, near the Jack in the Box and the Chevron.
It is about 1,000 square feet bigger. It will have a separate area for DoorDash drivers picking up deliveries, along with customers getting takeout.
The family is inviting customers to come to the Blackstone location for that all-day, every-day happy hour. They are encouraged to share fond memories, photos or stories, either in person on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
For example, “one customer brings a photograph of his grandfather and drinks a beer for him during the mariachi hour in the patio because it was his favorite place to go” said Carmen Toledo in a news release.
When asked if the food would change at all, Jesse Toledo was emphatic: “No, no, no, no. Same great food, same menu.”