Arturo’s Bar and Grill Bows Out Gracefully

PHOTO: T.A. Graydon

After 20 years in business, Arturo and Lupe Torres are closing, “Arturo’s Bar and Grill.”

Arturo’s Bar and Grill has always welcomed hungry diners with a rustic atmosphere and “Hometown” feel. After twenty years of service to the Tri-Community, Owners Arturo and Lupe Torres will close Arturo’s Bar and Grill. They have decided to retire to pursue new adventures. Gratefully thanking their long-time customers for success and friendship in the High Desert, they have chosen to move on. Although business is as vibrant as ever, the husband-and-wife restaurateurs wish to enjoy their retirement years by spending more time with family. On January 29, 2023, Arturo’s Bar and Grill will close its doors for good, becoming a flavorful memory missed dearly by many.

Louis Frias, Mary Ventura, and Trinidad Beltron are part of the family.

Arturo’s started at the building, which now houses another popular restaurant, El Patron. For the last ten years, the Torreses have been dishing up home-style cuisine and serving cocktails right here in downtown Phelan. The dine-in/take-out restaurant has been through many challenges over the years, including county and state-wide Covid pandemic restrictions. Customer loyalty and creative business management helped weather these problematic measures. The take-out service was vital to the neighborhood, serving customers in a hands-free environment. Phelan, Pinon Hills, and Wrightwood communities will surely miss these qualities. Arturo and Lupe Torres, with their family of employees, will miss their customers too.

Cecelia Martinez does some last minute business with owner Lupe Torres.

Arturo, the chef, is especially proud of his international cuisine. He enjoys Italian cooking the best. “I make the pasta fresh from scratch!” Arturo said as he prepared another breakfast, like so many times before. While visiting friends in Los Angeles, Arturo saw Lupe and told himself he liked her. When he asked her out on a date, she told him she would need to think about it. They went dancing at The Hollywood Palladium for the big date, and the rest is history. Lupe is a singer, and Arturo is a guitarist; they love to sing together. Lupe can usually be found behind the cash register, displaying her crafts and gifts from her store or in the kitchen. It is obvious to see she likes attending to the customers, who are mostly on a first-name basis. This is one of those things she will miss the most. Truly a community landmark, countless business deals, job interviews, and birthday parties have been held at Arturo’s Bar and Grill. Cecelia Martinez, who buys unique gifts from Lupe for Hesperia Florist, said about Arturo and Lupe Torres, “They are a perfect example of hard work paying off!”

Marcie Pineda and Louis Castro feel like family here.

Louis Castro has been a server for Arturo’s for nine years and feels like family here. Marcie Pineda has loved working for Lupe and Arturo for all these years. The news does not seem to have set in yet, with surprise and sadness being shown and goodbyes being given. Shocked to find out about the closure of the family restaurant, regular customer Jamie Lytle was almost sobbing saying, “I am sad that they are leaving. They have great food and a great atmosphere! I loved bringing my family here.” Long time Bartender and friend Jessica Starr said, “I wish them a happy retirement, and hope they have many more adventures!”

Their son Arturo Torres Jr. said it best in a goodbye letter he drafted to their customers and friends. “Even as we’ll miss seeing you in our kitchen, we look forward to seeing you in the community, and it’s our fondest hope that your memories of “Arturo’s Kitchen” will be as joyful as ours in the years to come. Thank you for being friends, community, and above all, family.”

Regular customers Mike Baernstein and Mike Steadman say farewell, as Mona and Brian Olson wave goodbye to the eatery.

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