Inside the new El Fenix

El Fenix opened today at the corner of Loop 288 and Interstate 35E.

By lunch hour, it was pretty full with customers enjoying their meals while listening to mariachi music courtesy of Mariachi de Oro.

Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs; District 1 City Council member, Charlye Heggins, AndrĂ© J. “Frenchy” Rheault from Frenchy’s Lawn and Tree and Police Chief Roy Minter stopped in to welcome the 17th El Fenix restaurant to Denton.

“I am here representing the people,” said a happy Frenchys as he enjoyed his food.

CEO and owner Mike Karns said he was excited to finally have a restaurant in Denton.

“It was one of the most requested areas, that is why I came here, we are excited about being here,” said Karns who purchased the company in 2008 from the family owners.

Known for its chips (which are made at the Harry Hines Headquarters in Dallas) and salsa, El Fenix began in 1918. It was founded by Mike Martinez who created a family business after opening the first restaurant in the “Little Mexico” side of town in Dallas.

John McBride, Jr., one of the Martinez’s family members and presently the chief operation officer for the restaurant chain said the new El Fenix has been busy since Friday when they hosted a special evening with 125 guests, then opened Saturday for dinner and had another soft opening on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We fed about 350 people for free yesterday,” McBride said talking about the Sunday opening.

Here are some photos
from today’s grand opening.


(left to right) Police Chief Roy Minter, District 1 City Council member Charlye Heggins, AndrĂ© J. “Frenchy” Rheault from Frenchy’s Lawn and Tree and Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs.


Mayor Burroughs, Michael Dailey, with Valerie Karns sitting next to her husband Mike Karns, owner and CEO of El Fenix.


Mariachi de Oro


Inside the restaurant – cashier section


Inside the restaurant – Waiters tending to customers

More information to come in the Sunday Biz column.