Filed Under Food and Cuisine

Los Olivos Mexican Patio

Los Olivos Mexican Patio located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale not only offers excellent and authentic Mexican food, it is also a classic American success story. Since its establishment the restaurant has always been family owned and operated. Los Olivos is a remnant of a mostly forgotten, but nonetheless significant, period of Scottsdale’s history. The restaurant is the only surviving business during the 1970’s redevelopment of the Scottsdale “barrio”. The Aztec figure atop the structure serves as a reminder of the local cultural roots. Some argue that the traditional home-style Mexican fare is not in keeping with the contemporary and trendy local competition, but the restaurants popularity and staying power suggests otherwise.

Los Olivos has existed in its current form since 1953, but its history predates the 1950’s. The Corral family, who owns and operates the establishment, moved to Scottsdale from Sonora, Mexico in 1919 to work as farm hands. After nearly a decade of hard work and savings the family was able to purchase two plots of land where the restaurant now resides. In 1928 they constructed something of a communal center for other nearby immigrant families. By 1946 it had evolved into a facility for dancing, meetings, and sharing a meal. Around this time, the three-room restaurant now known as Los Olivos Mexican Patio was added.

The family’s success with this first location led to additional locations throughout the valley. Over the years locations were added in Tempe, Phoenix, and North Scottsdale. These additions did not experience the same success as the original, and none lasted for any significant period of time. This might speak to a somewhat intangible quality possessed only by the original location that cannot be recreated. The original Los Olivos Mexican Patio is filled with a rich history built with the sweat and tears of a hardworking immigrant family. This is not something that can be merely reconstructed.

Images

Restaurant interior.
Restaurant interior. The gorgeous interior is almost overwhelming for new visitors. Source: Flickr. 6894844226_b32931741a_k <https://www.flickr.com/photos/blazenhoff/6894844226> accessed December 9, 2016. Creator: Rusty Blazenhoff Date: 2012
Fashion show.
Fashion show. Model poses outside of Los Olivos during a 1950's fashion show. Source: Scottsdale Historical Society Digital Collection. Scottsdale Digital Collection. Scottsdale Heritage Connection. SCOT_SHS_2015_0848 - <http://scottsdale.polarislibrary.com/polaris/search/title.aspx?ctx=1.1033.0.0.3&pos=3> accessed December 9, 2016. Date: 1956
Modest entrance.
Modest entrance. The modest entrance of the pueblo-styled building does not prepare the visitor for the impressive interior. Source: Scottsdale History Collection. Scottsdale Digital Collection. Scottsdale Architecture Collection. Scottsdale Heritage Connection. SCOT-HIS-2010-1213 - <http://scottsdale.polarislibrary.com/polaris/search/title.aspx?ctx=1.1033.0.0.3&pos=1> accessed December 9, 2016. Date: 2013
Restaurant exterior.
Restaurant exterior. View of the main entrance for the simple structure from across the street. Source: Scottsdale Digital Collection. Scottsdale Historical Society Digital Collection. Scottsdale Heritage Connection. SCOT-SHS-2012-0280 - <http://scottsdale.polarislibrary.com/polaris/search/title.aspx?ctx=1.1033.0.0.3&pos=2> accessed December 9, 2016. Date: ca. 1975

Location

Metadata

Aidan Solsten, “Los Olivos Mexican Patio,” Salt River Stories, accessed June 24, 2024, https://saltriverstories.org/items/show/206.