In April 1949, Antonio "Tony" and Dolores "Lola" Gutierrez opened El Charro Cafe, which was originally located on 4th Avenue. It was a small café that seated 50 people, that quickly became a favorite spot for Yuma Families. Tony and Lola and their two sons, Raul "Sonny" and Leo, lived in a small home behind the restaurant. In one of the rooms of their house, they began making their famous homemade Sonoran Style flour tortillas. Twenty years later, in 1970, the Gutierrez Family built a larger restaurant on 8th Street and 6th Avenue, which is where it is located today. The restaurant serves both Mexican and American food, using Lola's recipes that were loved by many. Her chile rellenos and green chile saddles are still one of our customer's favorites.
In 1975, the restaurant was passed on to the eldest son, Raul "Sonny" Gutierrez. Although Sonny retired in 2015, he continues to be an integral part of the business and day to day operations. The Gutierrez Family is very grateful to have been able to serve the Yuma Community now for 70 years. El Charro's long time customers have many wonderful stories about growing up in early Yuma. Many of the customers share their stories about walking home from Yuma High School and stopping in for a $.49 cent burrito and a Coke. These customers now are sharing their traditions of eating at El Charro with their children and grandchildren. On a busy Friday evening you will find many Yuma locals dining at El Charro and having fun running into old friends.
El Charro Cafe continues to be family owned and is now under the management of the third generation of family members. Two of Sonny's daughters, Anna Martinez and Pauline Villa took over the business in 2015, along with their husbands, Ken Martinez and Frank Villa. Both having grown up in the family business, from rolling tacos, waiting tables to dish washing, they are excited to continue to serve Yuma families. Although the original recipes of their Grandma Lola are still being served, they have added Happy Hour, new margarita flavors and community takeovers. Both Anna and Pauline worked many years with children in our community and continue to have a personal commitment to the youth in the Yuma Area. They look forward to several special events during this year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of El Charro Cafe.
The family is proud to continue the tradition of serving authentic Mexican Food along with friendly service and are very honored to be voted Yuma's Best Mexican Food. The Gutierrez Family would like to thank all of their customers and dedicated employees for an incredible 70 years!
El Charro was voted Yuma's best Mexican Food 2018 by the citizens of Yuma.