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El Matador

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NEWS
May 19, 2005
Andrew Edwards Brothers Marcial Gallardo Jr. and George Gallardo could lose the Costa Mesa restaurant their father founded in 1966. El Matador, a Newport Boulevard restaurant, is scheduled to be put on the auction block today by the Orange County Public Administrator/Public Guardian. That agency is responsible for handling property when a person dies without leaving a will or if an estate has no executor. Restaurant founder Marcial Gallardo Sr. died in July 2003.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Reger | March 18, 2009
If nothing else, El Matador wins the award for the fastest I have ever received an entrée from a restaurant server. Though I didn’t time it, I am certain it couldn’t have been more than five minutes from when my friend Warren and I ordered to when we were seeing food. It seemed much less than that. We gave the order, continued eating the chips and salsa, which were quite good, and hadn’t even gotten halfway through the basket when the waitress arrived at our table, plates in hand.
NEWS
June 20, 2003
Greer Wylder Sandwiched between a Global Tire shop and Cal's Camera on Newport Boulevard sits the locally beloved El Matador restaurant. After much hard work and determination, Marcial Gallardo, an immigrant from Zacatecas, Mexico, opened El Matador here in 1966. Today, Gallardo still works one or two days a week, his two sons, Marcial Jr. and Cesar, run the restaurant daily. The funky decor -- pinatas, sombreros, strands of red and white lights, bright pink walls, turquoise green ceiling, small red-leather booths -- doesn't draw in customers.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | November 21, 2012
A granddaughter of the family who founded the landmark El Matador restaurant in Costa Mesa is back on the Orange County food scene with a new catering and event-planning business. Monique Gallardo's Caly Events and Catering has a motto of TLC - tradition, love and creativity - and stresses personalized service, competitive pricing and quality food. Monique, 22, is being helped by her father, Marcial Gallardo, whose parents, Marcial Sr. and Mary, founded El Matador in 1966. In 2005, the county put the Newport Boulevard restaurant up for auction after family disputes caused the matter to end up in court.
NEWS
March 21, 2009
Since Assemblyman Chuck DeVore has been promoting the safety of nuclear power, I have one question for him: If nuclear power plants are so safe, how come not one single private insurance company will touch a nuclear power plan with a 10-foot pole? Mike Mang Newport Beach   Are we talking about the same restaurant? In regards to John Reger’s review (El Matador’s plates underwhelming, March 19): We could not disagree with you more. Our family has been eating at El Matador for the past 25 years.
NEWS
May 26, 2005
In a county that reinvents itself on a weekly basis, tearing down what might be considered historical -- albeit 1950 -- buildings and constructing McMansions, and with a populace served by a steady stream of chain restaurants and food markets, the very fact that an authentic family restaurant survives makes it a worthy location. It is a pleasure to enter a restaurant that hasn't been "designed" and fitted with inauthentic memorabilia a la Subway or TGI Friday's.
NEWS
By: Greer Wylder | August 19, 2005
Nearly 4,000 displaced customers endured 21 days in July without one of their favorite Newport Boulevard eateries, El Matador. That's how many people grabbed fliers, peeked in windows and inquired about when the beloved Mexican restaurant would reopen, owner Greg McConaughy said. After nearly 40 years, El Matador was shut down earlier this summer following a nasty family dispute that left the restaurant in the hands of county officials. Now, thanks to McConaughy and El Matador's loyal staff, El Matador is back.
NEWS
May 20, 2005
Andrew Edwards In less than an hour, a newcomer to the restaurant business won the county-run auction to buy El Matador, a Costa Mesa restaurant that had been owned by one family for 39 years. Newport Beach engineer Xavier Bengoechea bid $535,000 for El Matador. The auction was held at the Orange County Public Administrator/Public Guardian's office in Santa Ana. About 60 people packed into a room to bid for the restaurant. Bengoechea, 33, said he is confident he will be able to handle two major hurdles he will have to face soon.
NEWS
May 22, 2005
BUSINESS El Matador gets new owner through county-run auction Newport Beach engineer Xavier Bengoechea won a county-managed auction Thursday to take over El Matador, a Costa Mesa restaurant. The 33-year-old Bengoechea is a newcomer to the restaurant business, and he bid $535,000 -- a nest egg he had been saving for a home -- for El Matador. El Matador was founded in 1966 by Marcial Gallardo Sr., who died in 2003. The restaurant was placed in the county's hands last year after family troubles led to the removal of the executor of the founder's estate.
NEWS
January 25, 2004
Lolita Harper The vigilant eyes of the Gallardo family patriarch still watch over the bustling eatery. Marcial Gallardo Sr. keeps a post at the door, observant of those who come in and go out. From his vantage point, he can see the couple celebrating a birthday with margaritas, as well as the guys who came down for a football game and a plateful of nachos. Most noticeable of all, perhaps, is the hustle of his sons, Cesar Gallardo and Marcial Gallardo Jr., who inherited El Matador after his death.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | November 21, 2012
A granddaughter of the family who founded the landmark El Matador restaurant in Costa Mesa is back on the Orange County food scene with a new catering and event-planning business. Monique Gallardo's Caly Events and Catering has a motto of TLC - tradition, love and creativity - and stresses personalized service, competitive pricing and quality food. Monique, 22, is being helped by her father, Marcial Gallardo, whose parents, Marcial Sr. and Mary, founded El Matador in 1966. In 2005, the county put the Newport Boulevard restaurant up for auction after family disputes caused the matter to end up in court.
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NEWS
March 21, 2009
Since Assemblyman Chuck DeVore has been promoting the safety of nuclear power, I have one question for him: If nuclear power plants are so safe, how come not one single private insurance company will touch a nuclear power plan with a 10-foot pole? Mike Mang Newport Beach   Are we talking about the same restaurant? In regards to John Reger’s review (El Matador’s plates underwhelming, March 19): We could not disagree with you more. Our family has been eating at El Matador for the past 25 years.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John Reger | March 18, 2009
If nothing else, El Matador wins the award for the fastest I have ever received an entrée from a restaurant server. Though I didn’t time it, I am certain it couldn’t have been more than five minutes from when my friend Warren and I ordered to when we were seeing food. It seemed much less than that. We gave the order, continued eating the chips and salsa, which were quite good, and hadn’t even gotten halfway through the basket when the waitress arrived at our table, plates in hand.
NEWS
By Alan Blank | July 24, 2008
Costa Mesa police might want to keep a close eye on the county fair’s cattle drive this weekend for clues to their missing, uh, bull case. Costa Mesa police haven’t sent out a search party yet, but a black bull, rumored to be more than 100 years old, was stolen from El Matador restaurant on Newport Boulevard. The owners posted a $250 reward to whoever brings it back. The furry, 4-foot-tall statue used to sit on a maroon vinyl-topped stool at the end of the bar with a margarita in its hand.
NEWS
By: Greer Wylder | August 19, 2005
Nearly 4,000 displaced customers endured 21 days in July without one of their favorite Newport Boulevard eateries, El Matador. That's how many people grabbed fliers, peeked in windows and inquired about when the beloved Mexican restaurant would reopen, owner Greg McConaughy said. After nearly 40 years, El Matador was shut down earlier this summer following a nasty family dispute that left the restaurant in the hands of county officials. Now, thanks to McConaughy and El Matador's loyal staff, El Matador is back.
NEWS
June 2, 2005
Andrew Edwards The future of Costa Mesa's El Matador restaurant took another turn Wednesday when a new buyer claimed the Costa Mesa dining spot after the winner of a recent auction decided not to finish the deal. The Orange County Public Administrator/Public Guardian's office identified the new buyer as Greg McConaughy, who was the third-place bidder in the May 19 auction. McConaughy lives in Corona del Mar and is the former owner of Shooter's Sports Bar in Costa Mesa.
NEWS
May 26, 2005
In a county that reinvents itself on a weekly basis, tearing down what might be considered historical -- albeit 1950 -- buildings and constructing McMansions, and with a populace served by a steady stream of chain restaurants and food markets, the very fact that an authentic family restaurant survives makes it a worthy location. It is a pleasure to enter a restaurant that hasn't been "designed" and fitted with inauthentic memorabilia a la Subway or TGI Friday's.
NEWS
May 22, 2005
BUSINESS El Matador gets new owner through county-run auction Newport Beach engineer Xavier Bengoechea won a county-managed auction Thursday to take over El Matador, a Costa Mesa restaurant. The 33-year-old Bengoechea is a newcomer to the restaurant business, and he bid $535,000 -- a nest egg he had been saving for a home -- for El Matador. El Matador was founded in 1966 by Marcial Gallardo Sr., who died in 2003. The restaurant was placed in the county's hands last year after family troubles led to the removal of the executor of the founder's estate.
NEWS
May 21, 2005
STEVE SMITH There is no truth to the rumor that Newport Beach Mayor Steve Bromberg is not really becoming a Superior Court judge and is leaving instead to become the new manager of El Matador restaurant in Costa Mesa. El Matador, you may have read, just changed hands in an auction. A couple of days ago, Xavier Bengoechea of Newport Beach had the winning bid of $535,000 for the restaurant, which was founded in 1966 by Marcial Gallardo Sr. Gallardo died in July 2003, and his estate was placed under the auspices of the county after the executor estate was removed.
NEWS
May 20, 2005
Andrew Edwards In less than an hour, a newcomer to the restaurant business won the county-run auction to buy El Matador, a Costa Mesa restaurant that had been owned by one family for 39 years. Newport Beach engineer Xavier Bengoechea bid $535,000 for El Matador. The auction was held at the Orange County Public Administrator/Public Guardian's office in Santa Ana. About 60 people packed into a room to bid for the restaurant. Bengoechea, 33, said he is confident he will be able to handle two major hurdles he will have to face soon.
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