Our Story

L&J Cafe Tony's Place


Back in the days of “the Great Depression”, Antonio O. Flores established what would then become a well known, respected, and family oriented business. The year 1927 marked the opening of Tony’s Place.

Story has it that bootlegging was popular at Tony’s as well as Juanita G. Flores’ (Antonio’s wife) famous cooking. It was said that the cavalry stationed at Fort Bliss were regulars. The soldiers would trot down on their horses and tie them to hitching posts outside the building. They would sit down on old metal wash tub basins while sipping the home brew and perhaps some home cooking. The soldiers even trained a mule to travel the path from Fort Bliss to Tony’s and back. Often then, the mule carried bartering items in its saddle bag in exchange for the precious commodity of home brew.

Tony’s Place legally opened after prohibition in 1934 in what were the outskirts of town. Bootlegging and slot machines were concealed in false walls throughout the establishment. This, along with the friendly atmosphere made Tony’s Place a hot spot in its time. There are many notable people who have visited our establishment over the years. Amongst them, are Clark Gable, Robert Taylor, The Andrew Sisters, Karen Tandy (The first woman to have lead the DEA), Anita Perry (The first lady of Texas), and Gil Coronado (The former director of the selective service system).


In June of 1968 the second generation, Lilia F. Duran (daughter to Antonio and Juanita) and her husband, John G. Duran, took over Tony’s Place and renamed it L & J Café. The letters “L” and “J” are for the first initials of Lilia and John. They are also for the initials of the oldest son Leo, middle son John and baby sister Lilia (Becky). The third generation, son Leo & wife Frances Duran, assumed the responsibility after John’s (Dad’s) passing away on December 11, 1987, and continue to do so until this day. Mom Lilia continued to lend her guidance and support until her passing away on March 6, 1999.

L&J Cafe Old Bar Photo



We have been blessed to have such a legacy to uphold. It is our sincerest wishes to continue this tradition. Our many thanks to our loyal and faithful customers (also multiple generations) and to our dedicated staff, friends, and family for your continued patronage. Today, we continue to serve the great cuisine of authentic border regional Mexican food and hospitality that makes us unique.

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