Real Mex Restaurants

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Real Mex Restaurants
IndustryRestaurant / Mexican
FoundedJanuary 1, 1954; 65 years ago (1954-01-01)[citation needed]
FounderLarry Cano
DefunctOctober 27, 2018
HeadquartersCypress, California, United States
Key people
Brian Lockwood (President, CEO)

Real Mex Restaurants is the parent company for several chains of full-service Mexican restaurants in the United States. The company is headquartered in Cypress, California and operates more than 120 full service Mexican restaurants under eight brand names.[1]


The company claims its origin to Larry Cano who, in 1954 with the opening of the first El Torito restaurant, which expanded into a chain. Another origin was the founding of Acapulco Mexican Restaurant and Cantina in 1960. In 1998, Acapulco became owned by the private equity firm Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co.,[2] which expanded it into Real Mex Restaurants, acquiring El Torito, Chevy's Fresh Mex and other Mexican full-service chains.[3] The company's reach is now nationwide, and the company claims to be the largest Mexican restaurant chain in the United States.[4]

In October 2011, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[5] In February 2012, it was sold to a group of debt holders.[6] The company is now owned by an investment group that includes Z Capital Partners.[7]

Real Mex Restaurants portfolio includes: El Torito, Acapulco Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, Chevy's Fresh Mex, El Torito Grill, El Paso Cantina, Who Song and Larry's and the Southern California landmark Las Brisas of Laguna Beach.


  1. ^ "Home page". Real Mex Restaurants. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  2. ^ Battaglia, Andy (March 13, 2000). "Acapulco restarts its engine, revs up for growth after 8 years in low gear". Nation's Restaurant News. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "Real Mex Restaurants, Inc". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  4. ^ "About Us". Real Mex Restaurants. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Palank, Jaqueline (October 4, 2011). "Real Mex Restaurants Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  6. ^ Darmiento, Laurence (February 8, 2012). "Real Mex Approves Sale to Debt Holders". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Real Mex Restaurants, Inc. Company Profile". Hoovers. Retrieved October 5, 2014.

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