Food & Drink

Vance Godbey’s restaurant going Tex-Mex: El Cerrito moving in

El Cerrito’s Reno location will move to Lakeside.
El Cerrito’s Reno location will move to Lakeside. Star-Telegram archives

A 60-year restaurant landmark is reopening, but barbecue is giving way to fajitas and margaritas.

El Cerrito is moving from Reno into the front of the former Vance Godbey’s Restaurant in Lakeside, Carol Godbey confirmed Thursday.

El Cerrito’s Reno restaurant will close on Monday for the move. The news broke Wednesday when Reno diners were met with a sign on the door: “We will be relocating to 8601 Jacksboro Highway.”

That’s Vance Godbey’s Catering, but Godbey, daughter of the founder, said she will continue catering tradtional dinners and parties there using a second kitchen in the 15,000-square-foot ranch-house restaurant.

“They came by for a year and kept asking me if I knew anywhere for another restaurant,” Godbey said, “and finally I told them, ‘Well, what about mine?’ 

El Cerrito owner Jose Tereso Garcia (not related to Joe T. Garcia’s) is converting the front buffet area to a bar, Godbey said. She guesses the restaurant will open in mid-August.

The Reno location opened in 2013.

“I’ve been there many times and their food is good — they’re packed all the time,” she said. “And their margaritas are mighty tasty.”

The Garcia family bought El Cerrito from the Rangel family, which kept El Cerrito Cantina in Springtown. Other associates run the very busy and popular Mezcales Mexican Bar & Grill in Sansom Park.

Vance Godbey’s originally opened in 1956 and was rebuilt and expanded after a 1962 fire.

It ended its Sunday and holiday buffets in September after operating for several years as a Sunday-only restaurant.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538,, @EatsBeat. His column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in