Rumors Behind the Restaurant News: Mexican Revolution at Avila’s on Maple in Dallas

Has Ricky Avila has been overthrown by his brother, Octavio?

This is a weird coincidence. Yesterday, I wrote the post below about Peter Tarantino and scheduled it to run at 9 this morning. Before it was live, I got a phone call from a well-place source informing me that  “there was  a real Mexican revolution at Avila’s on Sunday.” Here’s the story: Ricky Avila, one of the nicest guys in the restaurant business, has been running his family’s restaurant for years. Ricky’s mother owns the building on Maple Avenue and the place has just been on steady cruise control. It turns out Peter Tarantino has been working with Ricky for the last year and Peter’s nephew, Michael, has been waiting tables.

Yow. Zah. Enter Avila’s debut on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. After host Guy Fieri left town last April, Avila’s business more than doubled.  Apparently the uptake in money coming into the business fueled a real family feud. According to several former employees, Ricky and his wife left early Sunday morning for a two-week vacation in Hawaii. As the plane took off, Ricky’s brother Octavio “stormed into the restaurant on Sunday morning and fired almost everyone.” Both Tarantinos were let go (they are not a source for this post). One witness says, “Octavio said ‘I have a gun, and I will use it’” during the takeover. It sounds like Octavio staged his revolution a little carelessly. The liquor license is in Ricky’s name so legally Octavio can’t sell liquor. Also, Ricky found out about the fiasco before he boarded his connecting flight. Instead of hitting the beach in Hawaii, he turned around and came back to Dallas and called his lawyers. Stay tuned.

11 comments on “Rumors Behind the Restaurant News: Mexican Revolution at Avila’s on Maple in Dallas

  1. What a lunatic! Shouldn’t he have been arrested for threatening people with a gun in a place that serves liquor?

  2. Peter can cook, and is a great guy to boot. I hope it works out for everyone involved, a love Avila’s.

  3. Wow! This is better than any soap opera I can think of.
    Hope things work out because I’d hate to have to stop going to Avila’s.

  4. this is just like when Paulie told Sr. that he could build bikes without him and then they threw some stuff. Then they broke some stuff and then they sued the crap out of each other, then their show was cancelled and the money machine that they had been arguing about in the first place, ground to a sputtering stop. What will Mikey do now?

    this is why you shouldn’t do business with your family.

  5. You people need to get your facts straight. The cops came out there so if anybody would have been waiving a gun around or threatening with a gun they would have been arrested. I know a guy that works there and he is close with Peter. He says that Peter and Rick know that they will be gone soon because they don’t own the restaurant. Who cares if Rick has the liquor license. They can just get a new one. It may take a little time, but it’ll get done. I remember when I first started eating there, they didn’t sell liquor. It didn’t keep anyone from going. Plus the food was better before Peter got there anyway.

  6. WOW!!!!!! I have been in the Restaurant Industry for years. Is this the same Peter Tarantino who had a restaurant in Deep Ellum and it was open for like 4 weeks, and he had one on Mockingbird that was open for 6 months. I think he even had one across the street from Fair Park that opened and closed twice. He has had a pretty big losing streak. If this is the same guy all I can say is RUN RICARDO RUN.

  7. I bet Mr. Avila would be so proud of his son now! He ripped off his Mom. Way to go! I’m sure everyone will follow you wherever you go, just like Tradicion.

  8. Ricardo is one of the nicest guys in the restaurant business. Too bad the haters on here ( his greedy siblings…… ) aren’t IN the restaurant business. The punch line will come as Ricky exits.