La Fonda's long and colorful history began on Main Avenue in 1930 when resourceful sisters Virginia Berry and Nannie Randall opened a Mexican food-to-go shop. These two women supplied take-home Tex-Mex favorites to the neighborhood. In spite of the Great Depression, their little business prospered and an opportunity presented itself to purchase the house across the street at 2415 North Main Avenue. Converting this home to a full-service restaurant seemed a risk worth taking, and in 1932, La Fonda on Main formally opened.
In the early 1930's, San Antonio was a very different place. Houston had quite recently outperformed San Antonio as the biggest city in Texas, with Dallas in third place. Shrub Heights and Monte Vista were prosperous rural areas at the northern edge of our city. Model-A's and trolley cars were the primary means of transportation to and from the busy downtown area for San Antonio's 235,000 residents. So much has changed. Today, La Fonda's staff and patrons recall old times, memorable restaurant highlights and the hard-working ladies that made it all possible. It is fascinating to hear how popular La Fonda has been as a dining spot of history's most celebrated people. Every famous officer in World War II seems to have eaten here, including Generals Eisenhower, MacArthur and Hill. Even American presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson enjoyed La Fonda's fare. Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Yul Brenner, Veronica Lake, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, along with many
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