El Torito Parent Closes 6 Sites

The El Torito sign lies flat outside the Valencia restaurant after the restaurant closed its doors in July 2016. KATHARINE LOTZE/Signal.
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Six months after pulling out of Santa Clarita, the corporate parent of El Torito Mexican restaurants has shuttered six more Southern California locations.

But Real Mex Restaurants, owner of El Torito, Chevy’s Fresh Mex, and Acapulco, may be back, as it is looking to reboot by buying a new chain.

Last week, the Cypress-based company closed El Toritos in Burbank, Long Beach, Riverside and Temecula, an El Torito Grill in Torrance, and an Acapulco in Los Angeles. The closest outlets of all three chains to Santa Clarita are now in Northridge.

The El Torito restaurant on The Old Road in Santa Clarita closed in July. It was built in 1986 on a stretch of The Old Road at Magic Mountain Parkway once dubbed Restaurant Row. The 72,000 square foot parcel, including the 11,000 square foot building, is on the market

El Torito introduced Mexican casual dining in Southern California in 1954. In 2015, Bryan Lockwood became Real Mex’s third CEO since the company went through bankruptcy in 2012 and was bought by private-equity firms Z Capital Partners LLC and Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC.

The company, which owns nearly 100 restaurants, wants to double its size by buying a casual dining, fine dining or fast casual chain with annual sales of $100 million – $300 million, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Ideally, the target company will have global growth potential and appeal to younger consumers.

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