La Fonda on Main is a San Antonio tradition celebrating over 80 years of history. Our story:
La Fonda's long and colorful history began on Main Avenue in 1930 when resourceful sisters Virginia Berry and Nannie Randall opened a Mexican food-to-go shop. These two ladies supplied take-home Tex-Mex favorites to the neighborhood. In spite of the Great Depression, their little business prospered and an opportunity presented itself to purchase the house across the street at 2415 North Main Avenue. Converting this home to a full-service restaurant seemed a risk worth taking, and in 1932, La Fonda on Main formally opened.
In the early 1930's, San Antonio was a very different place. Houston had just surpassed San Antonio as the largest city in Texas, with Dallas in third place. Laurel Heights and Monte Vista were affluent suburbs at the northern edge of our city. Model-A's and trolley cars were the primary means of transportation to and from the busy downtown area for San Antonio's 235,000 residents. So much has changed. Today, La Fonda's staff and patrons recall old times, memorable restaurant highlights and the hard-working ladies that made it all possible. It is fascinating to hear how popular La Fonda has been as a dining spot of history's most celebrated people. Every famous officer in World War II seems to have eaten here, including Generals Eisenhower, MacArthur and Hill. Even American presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson enjoyed La Fonda's fare. Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Yul Brenner, Veronica Lake, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, along with many other stars, visited this historic restaurant. Most importantly, La Fonda became a lunch and dinner tradition for San Antonio families. All the while, the La Fonda reputation grew for having delicious food and great service. Over the years, the restaurant received many accolades, including the coveted Holiday Magazine Award for Fine Dining and the Duncan Hines Seal of Approval.
Mrs. Berry's sons Bill and Jack became active in the business in the 1950's, carried on the La Fonda tradition.
In late 1997, we purchased this landmark restaurant. As San Antonio natives, we also have our remembrances of special times at La Fonda. Our goal has been to breathe new life into this wonderful institution and create an environment that will endure the test of at least another "seventy-five years". We have extensively renovated the building and kitchen and created a patio worthy of a true Mexican hacienda. We have lightened the food, retained the best of the Tex-Mex and added many of the authentic dishes of interior Mexico.
We hope that Mrs. Berry and Mrs. Randall would approve of our restoration and beautification of this historic landmark. Thank you for helping the story continue. We're glad you're here!
Cappy & Suzy Lawton
2415 North Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212