PHOTOS — Go inside as El Refu opens doors to hungry patrons from Port Arthur and beyond

Published 12:20 am Saturday, March 16, 2024

The newly opened El Refu has drawn the attention of many, leading to a packed house before noon on Friday.

Located at 7875 Memorial Blvd. in Port Arthur, the restaurant offers Tex-Mex dishes as well as wings and some seafood, owner Daniel Lozano.

On Friday, during a visit from Port Arthur Newsmedia, employees greeted a steady flow of customers.

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The business is easily spotted from the nearby highway and features a giant barrel on the roof, a giant shark with a saddle on a pole in the parking lot, numerous colorful Mexican banners and other rustic style décor.

Lozano owns three other Houston-area El Refu restaurants and has plans to open three more.

El Refu opened its doors March 11, offering a free meal from a special menu to the first 1,000 customers.

Social media photos showed customers standing in line outside the restaurant for a chance to dine.

When looking a the menu, Lozano said there isn’t one particular item they specialize in.

“We take pride on everything that we have on the menu,” Lozano said.

The restaurant owner opened his first location in Humble in 2017. That was a rough year for many in Southeast Texans due to Hurricane Harvey.

“We made it,” he said with a laugh. “We made it.”

The spacious restaurant has tables in the front and a bar area with TV screens, a larger main area that also has TV screens and outdoor patio dining.

Ellen James, her aunt Linda Schnell and family stopped in for lunch on Friday.

James said this was their first time and everything was very good. She enjoyed the atmosphere of the restaurant.

At a nearby table Michelle Griffin and family were dining and chatting. She also liked the food and said they’d definitely would be back.

El Refu is currently open on temporary hours — Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.