El Patio reopens with new drive-thru service

PRESIDIO — Local social media was abuzz this week with some good news: El Patio, a longtime, popular restaurant in town, is back in business.

Now going as El Patio Express, the restaurant officially reopened for breakfast service last Friday, March 12. The restaurant has a new location (across from Santa Teresa Church on O’Reilly Street), a new name (El Patio Express) and a new drive-thru. The restaurant is also offering to-go orders by phone at 432-229-4409 or online at elpatioexpress.com.

Opened around 30 years ago, El Patio has long been a staple for residents and hungry travelers alike. Then, last spring, it abruptly closed.

The Franco family, who runs the restaurant, was not immediately available for comment. But Presidio Mayor John Ferguson, himself a fan of El Patio, said the closure happened because Rene Franco, one of the co-owners, had been dealing with health issues. (Franco died in August at 78.) That prompted the other co-owner, his wife Jesusita, to take a step back from the restaurant for a while.

Now, El Patio is open with the same ownership. Ferguson, like other Presidio residents, was excited by the news.

“I personally really like the El Patio special,” he said, which comes “with a little bit of everything.” With John and his wife Lucy trying to eat healthier, they haven’t tried the new location just yet. But, John said, “I can’t wait to get back and eat there.”