Since 1967

Meet Eloise Franklin

Our Grandma, Eloise Franklin was always cooking in her kitchen for family and neighbors. Everyone loved her cooking and told her to open a restaurant. Our great-grandma encouraged her to open a restaurant. She even found the original location on Scottsdale Rd. and Curry for her. With the support of our great-grandma she decided to leave her job and open her own business. So the story of La Fonda began. She opened a small restaurant with only a dozen tables serving Sonaran-style Mexican food.

Eloise Franklin
Eloise Franklin cooking

As the city of Tempe grew, so did La Fonda. It doubled in size in 1985 when a neighboring suite became available. We loved working with her. She would come in at night to close the restaurant and would love to have her flan and coffee while she played Pacman. Our grandma passed away suddenly in 1995, leaving the restaurant to our parents, Ray and Janet Pedraza. They took over and ran it with the help of myself, my sister and 2 brothers. In 2004 we opened a South Chandler location till 2010. In 2011 we received notice informing us of plans to demolish the shopping center where the original La Fonda was located. After 45 years in business we closed the doors in April 2012 at the original location. We moved the restaurant to a freestanding building on Baseline and McClintock in Tempe, which we opened in July of 2012.

The Original Location – 1967 photo

The Original Location – 1967

Tempe, AZ Location McClintock & Baseline Rd photo

Tempe, AZ Location McClintock & Baseline Rd

Chandler Location photo

Chandler Location

My sister and I helped our parents operate that location. As time went by my sister and I knew our parents would retire soon and started to think if we would continue on. We loved it, but through Covid it was very difficult and we almost gave up. Our landlord sold the property in 2020 and it was going to be demolished and a gas station would be built. My sister and I decided to push on and keep it going. We looked for several months for a new location. We wanted to go back to a small cozy restaurant like how grandma started it. We found the perfect location in Chandler. My sister and I worked hard, with the help of our husbands, to get it open and running to celebrate our 55th Anniversary. We opened La Fonda Chandler March of 2022. It is something we both love and work very hard keeping her tradition alive. You can find us working everyday at the restaurant and now have even begun the 4th generation with us. Our grandma’s picture hangs in the restaurant where we can smile at her each day.

Ray and Janet Pedraza – Early 90’s photo

Ray and Janet Pedraza – Early 90’s

Angela Cota and Christie Cox photo

Angela Cota and Christie Cox – New Chandler Location

News Story

Restaurant Crew picture
Interview picture