El Patio Closes After 65 Years in Business
University of Texas loses a local Tex-Mex favorite on the Drag
By Jessi Cape,
1:55PM, Tue. Jul. 23, 2019
On July 23, local Tex-Mex institution El Patio (2938 Guadalupe) announced their last day of business will be August 9, 2019. Paul and MaryAnn Joseph opened the University of Texas area restaurant on January 5, 1954, and it’s now currently operated by their three children, David, Renee, and Roseann.
From the release: “Paul Joseph was one of Austin’s early pioneers in the Mexican restaurant business. He had a vision of serving the best quality Mexican food. And we can proudly say our family has fulfilled that promise for over six decades. [He] supervised the opening while MaryAnn delivered the first of their six children. The restaurant continues to be a true family run restaurant. Paul was the soft hearted one who would carry a crying child around while the parents enjoyed a meal. MaryAnn was the 'Patrona,' who made sure everything ran smoothly.”
The Joseph family credits their long-term success in part to their loyal employees – some of whom “retired after almost 50 years of service” – and their customers. “We have shared generations of our family with yours. Our hearts are heavy because we will miss our beloved customers, who are truly extended family.”
The reason for the restaurant closing is reportedly a family decision: “We are happy to be able to say the decision to close and retire was made by the Joseph family. It is not due to any external factors. Quite simply, we are proud of our legacy, but ready to move on to other endeavors.”
Aside from enchiladas, tacos, and homemade tostadas, El Patio’s menu also features sherbet and a quirky tradition of serving saltines with their salsa. No word yet on the future plans for the property.