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Iconic Eastside Mexican Restaurant Closing After 53 Years in Highland Park

It was time to move on, the family says

El Arco Iris, Highland Park
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Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Fans of Highland Park, both its current iteration and its history as an enclave for college kids, artists, and middle class Latino families, should mourn the upcoming loss of El Arco Iris. The long-running York Boulevard restaurant has been cooking since 1964, but will shutter in the coming weeks as plans are put in motion to sell the building.

The century-old restaurant is still run by Angie Montes, but her restaurateur son Jesse Gomez (of Cocinas y Calaveras group fame) has been helping out for years. Now they say the time has come to move on, so they’ll be selling it to an equity firm called Coda Equities soon.

The plan, per Jonah Garb of Coda, is to find a worthwhile tenant for the space — ideally one with a local passion who can keep the property running as a restaurant for the neighborhood. That said, there’s no official timetable for the shutter, per The Eastsider, though it should be soon considering the property is currently in escrow.