My grandmother, Eloise Franklin opened La Fonda in 1967 at a shopping center located on Scottsdale Rd. and Curry in Tempe, Arizona. She opened as a small restaurant with only a dozen tables serving Sonoran-style Mexican food, which was inspired by my great-grandmother. As the city of Tempe grew so did La Fonda. It doubled in size in 1985 when a neighboring suite became available. My mother, Janet Pedraza began working at the restaurant around that time. It wasn’t long before myself along with my brothers and sister began working beside our grandmother and parents.
Grandma Eloise Franklin
Original location 1967
Working with our grandmother and parents gave us, a sense of pride, appreciation and respect for the family business quickly developed. My grandmother passed away in 1995 leaving the restaurant to my father and mother. In 2011 we received notice informing us of plans to demolish the shopping center where the original La Fonda was located. After 45 years in business, we closed the doors in April of 2012 at the original location. We moved the restaurant to a freestanding building on Baseline and McClintock in Tempe, which we opened in July of 2012.
The new building allowed us to expand the restaurant to include a cantina and 2 semi-private dining areas. You can still find memorabilia from the original location in our new and updated establishment. You can also find old photos of the original location and employees that had been with us at the original location. Today it is still operated by my parents Ray and Janet Pedraza. My sister, Christie Cox and myself, Angela Cota help manage the day to day operations. You can find my children often running and playing at the restaurant. They know this was their great-grandmother’s restaurant and someday will be passed on to another generation.
Our Family at our 50th Anniversary!