Article appeared in The Oracle January 2007 issue
By Skylar Khan
Casa Rivera - A Family Affair
In the kitchen of Casa Rivera Restaurant stands Rodolfo Rivera, Jr., better known as ‘Rudy’, cooking up a storm for midmorning customers’ late breakfast or early lunch.
Most family members are working in the restaurant, including his wife Gloria and sons Chris and Isaac. Daughter Crystal, proud mom of two sons and a baby girl, is also the cashier, order taker and manager of the restaurant’s catering business. He states that Casa Rivera provides meals for most local occasions.
The charming Mexican restaurant is located at 1975 American Avenue in Oracle, across from what locals call the first Circle K. The menu includes a variety of foods designed to please just about every palate. There are tacos and tamales, steak and shrimp, specials like menudo, and my favorites: BLT with avocado and breakfast burrito with bacon.
Rivera has been in the food business all his life. He opened his first restaurant in California in 1969 and soon thereafter changed over to industrial catering for the next fifteen years, followed by a move to Arizona in 1988.
Rivera loves this community for its obvious beauty. And Oracle people are especially nice, he states, and great restaurant patrons.
Things were not always easy, as he refers to a former restaurant which he owned in Hayden. Asarco’s move to the Tucson office resulted in a loss of many employees who were part of his luncheon crowd. During that time however, Rivera had also opened a second restaurant in Oracle and was overseeing both stores when he lost the Hayden enterprise to a fire in the year 2000, shortly after the Magma shutdown. Unfortunately, the fire occurred after the insurance expiration date and although arson was suspected, it was never proven. Needless to say, Rivera lost everything in that fire.
On the up side, the restaurant in Oracle has been flourishing and has successfully transformed itself into an inviting eatery where customers are welcomed by name, and where daughter Crystal knows patrons’ preferred menu choices by heart.
Rivera is proud of his heritage. He was born in Juarez, Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, California. His father was baptized in 1915 by Roldolfo Fierro who is seen in one of the antique photographs decorating the walls of the eatery together with Emiliano Zapata and General Francisco Villa at the Palacio Nacional. Therefore the customary succession of the name Rodolfo in the family!
Another old photo shows Pancho Villa together with General Pershing and then colonel George Patton. Rivera’s grandfather was from France and Spain and his grandmother was Mexican Indian.
Rudy and his lovely wife Gloria are proud of their five children and five grandchildren, plus a white horse named Buck.
Rudy’s handwriting reveals interesting character traits which are part of his personality. Following are some of the qualities that contribute to the success of his business.
Thoughtful arrangement of text is indicative of an individual’s sense of order and an appreciation of style. Print writing is often preferred by persons who want to be in control, be it at work or at home or both.
Optimism is evidenced through ascending baselines throughout the body of text.
The height of t and d stems in continued support depict a proud man. And placement of the t-bars is a reflection of the writer’s realistic vision and setting of attainable goals. The letters p have a perfectly retraced downstroke which translates into perfectionism. He most likely demands that every meal be prepared and garnished according to his instructions.
The exclamation point has a circle, indicating Rudy’s desire to stand out from the crowd. And well he does, as you can see him sporting a dapper mustache! A particular sense of style is also reflected in the graceful lines of the letter R.
The angles seen in the letters m are indicative of a man who asks many questions and enjoys learning different things.
The rightward slant of the writing confirms his excellent understanding of human nature which benefits his large family and extends to patrons of his restaurant.
This January 2007 is a month of celebration for the Rivera family, as it marks Rudy’s 50th anniversary in the United States. If you visit the restaurant, be sure to congratulate him!
For more information or catering orders, please call 520 896 3744 or 520 896 3747.