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Regulars rejoice as El Minuto Cafe re-opens after renovations

The restaurant was closed for five weeks to make improvements to the building; customers waited outside and in the parking lot for the re-opening Friday.
Posted at 3:52 PM, Jun 07, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Since opening in the 1930s, El Minuto Cafe has seen Tucson grow around it.

It changed a lot itself, undergoing multiple expansions and renovations that come with being in business for over 90 years.

Loyal customers waited outside the historic restaurant for the doors to open again after being closed for five weeks.


“Thank you guys for coming, really," Owner Teresa Shaar says to a table of two regulars.

Shaar was thankful for her regulars coming back and felt major relief to put her people back to work.

“The employees are happy, it was hard on them too to be off for five weeks. I was worried for them also and hurrying up the contractor," Shaar said.

El Minuto closed to renovate its air conditioning and roof, as well as to make updates to the kitchen and to add new wiring.

All important for the summer, and monsoon.

They also received help with the costs, becoming one of the first Tucson small businessesto get AVANZA loans, which are given to minority business owners.

“They worked with us and everything, and we were able to wait until this time when it [business] does taper off a little bit," Zulema Salinas said.

Amid renovations and expansions over the years, at El Minuto providing the great food has always been the main goal. And it's what keeps customers coming back.


“It’s the consistency. It tastes the same every time—delicious," customer Kat Williams said.

The restaurant is ready to serve up customers for the next 90 years.

“We’re really happy and appreciate all of the support we have from our loyal customers and people who like coming,” Shaar said.

Adam Klepp is a reporter for KGUN 9. At his previous station in Yuma, Adam focused on a range of local issues including the border, water rights and healthcare. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and attended both Loyola University Chicago and Syracuse University. Share your story ideas and important issues with Adam by emailing or by connecting on Twitter.