History Guy recalls Mexican restaurants of Topeka’s past

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History Guy recalls Mexican restaurants of Topeka’s past

Topeka Mexican restaurant Carlos O’Kelly’s shut its doors earlier this month after being in business for 36 years, since 1984, at 3425 S. Kansas Ave.

This week’s History Guy video at CJOnline.com focuses on that and other Mexican restaurants that operated for a long time in Topeka before saying “adios” to this community.

La Siesta Restaurant was in business from 1955 to 2014 at 201 N.E. Woodruff Ave. in northeast Topeka’s Oakland community. It was owned and operated by Frank and Connie Herrera from 1978 until it closed, according to Topeka Capital-Journal archives.

Members of the Tetuan family from 1950 to 2007 owned and operated The Lucky 5, at 1118 N.E. Seward Ave. in Oakland.

Members of the Barron family owned and operated Mexican restaurants between 1957 and 2008 at separate locations in Topeka. The last of those, Rosa’s Mexican Restaurant, did business for its final 14 years at 2025 S.E. California Ave.

Casa Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant, known at one point as Casa Del Sol, did business at 3320 S.W. Topeka Blvd. from 1969 until it was seriously damaged by fire in 2015.

Mary and Joe Knernschield owned and operated various El Gringo restaurants in Topeka between 1978 and 2010, with the last being at 3627 S.E. 29th.

Pepe & Chela’s was in business in Topeka from 1986 to 2017. For most of that time, it was located at 1001 S.W. Tyler and owned and operated by Olga Smith and her parents, Celia and Jose Avila.

And members of the Munoz family owned and operated Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant from 1995 to 2019 at 732 S. Kansas Ave.

Other past popular Topeka Mexican restaurants that are no longer open include Tia’s, Taco Grande and Casa de Montez.