That passion helped him to advance from being a dishwasher and busboy to becoming the owner of Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant, a 12-store restaurant group named after his daughter.
Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant first opened in Flower Mound in 1996 and then in Frisco in 1998. The Flower Mound location—the group’s flagship store—was an extension of Angelina’s, a Mexican restaurant founded by Arturo’s mother-in-law.
“The idea is to bring a little piece of Mexico to the people we serve,” Arturo said.
The Mexican restaurant’s food menu has a variety of appetizers, soups, tacos, chicken plates, fish plates and combination plates. The drink menu includes margaritas, mojitos, beer, sangria, wine and signature cocktails.
Cristina Vargas, Arturo’s daughter and the restaurant’s namesake, is set to take over the restaurant when her father retires.
She said some of her earliest memories are of spending her days in the restaurant with her family and friends.
“Customers are able to feel the love we’ve put into it transcend into the food and the service,” Cristina said. “It really is home and just a go-to place for people I grew up with and so many other people in the community.”
Arturo said one of the restaurant’s defining characteristics is its standard of quality and service.
“We say to our cooks and employees: ‘Pretend that you’re cooking for your mother,’” he said.
Arturo said he and his wife always dreamed their children would take over the restaurant and continue their legacy.
This is a dream that has come to fruition, as Arturo’s children are committed to keeping the restaurant family-owned and -operated, Arturo said.
“It has been a blessing to be able to work with my dad and my siblings,” Cristina said. “I was not only raised in a home where I got to see a lot of love and a lot of generosity, but I also got to see my parents create a place like that for people to work at and eat at. I believe that God has given this all to us to spread love and generosity, and I’m honored to carry that on.”
Elizabeth Uclés contributed to this story.
5105 Eldorado Parkway, Frisco
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.