Iconic El Patio Restaurant was recently profiled in a post by Jes Garcia on the Facebook page “Dazed & Confused (Our Austin Memories),” where he included a photo of what the location at 30th & Guad looked like back in the day and a matchbook from its original incarnation. Garcia wrote:
“Paul Joseph opened El Patio in January 1954. Joseph got his start in the restaurant business at P.J. Café. The restaurant sat adjacent to his boyhood home, where he grew up with 13 brothers and sisters on the lot now occupied by the Four Seasons Hotel.
“He moved uptown to run the Schoonerville, a restaurant where you could get a porterhouse for $1.50, in the early 1950s. After a couple of years, he took over ownership of the restaurant and changed the name to El Patio.
“Despite his Lebanese heritage, Joseph created a menu comprised of dishes such as enchiladas and tacos, making El Patio one of the few Tex-Mex restaurants in town. Some of Schoonerville’s burgers and steaks stayed on the initial menu, but they eventually faded away. The menu has changed little since.”