A local favorite is back.

The Mexican restaurant Alfonso’s re-opened on May 23 in the Tonto Plaza behind ERA Realty at 430 S. Beeline Highway, just north of its former location at 510 S. Beeline Highway.

The family owned and operated restaurant had been at 510 S. Beeline for approximately 18 years before a fire in the kitchen on April 20 badly damaged the building and owner Jose Luna was forced to close.

Jose’s son, Israel Luna, is the manager. He said he is happy to be back in business less than five weeks after fire officials said the fire started in an electrical outlet.

The family plans to rebuild Alfonso’s in the original location. The new building will feature a drive-thru window, which was already planned at the old site. It’ll just take some time.

“They gave us a wait time of at least eight months, but I think it may take a little bit longer than that,” Israel said. “We’re looking for bids to tear it down and build it back.”

In the meantime, Alfonso’s is open in the temporary location from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. The family says they are adjusting to the new space.

“It’s a smaller location, but it’s just a matter of getting used to it,” Israel said. “We’re making the best of what we’ve got.”

Alfonso’s is a family business with six employees — Israel and his wife, his father and mother, his aunt and his wife’s friend.

“We’re happy to be back for sure,” Israel said. “Payson’s always going to be home for us.”

Israel said there are about 15 Alfonso’s restaurants in Arizona, all run by his aunts, uncles and cousins. They’re named after his paternal grandfather.

Contact the reporter at kmorris@payson.com

Contact the reporter at kmorris@payson.com

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