Matador Restaurant closes down

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- An iconic restaurant in downtown Phoenix has closed its doors and after 35 years of serving Mexican cuisine to loyal patrons, owner John Anagnopoulus said he and his family are heartbroken.

Matador Restaurant served its last meals on Saturday. All day long, patrons came in to wish the owners good luck and to also share some of their fond memories at the restaurant.

The restaurant opened in 1976 at Second and Washington streets then relocated to First and Adams streets in 1983. They've been there ever since.

Anagnanopoulus said that after about a week of negotiations with the city of Phoenix, both parties decided not to renew the building lease. He blames hard economic times for the restaurant's closure.

About three years ago, both the city and the restaurant owners agreed to building renovations. This cost the restaurant about $325,000. Ever since then, the restaurant has not been able to get ahead again.

The restaurant boasts having some of the most loyal patrons. They've also had well-known visitors like President Bill Clinton, actor Clint Eastwood and former NBA player Charles Barkley dine with them.

When asked if Matador will reopen, Anagnopoulus said they hope to. They just need to find a location that works for them.