Red Arrow Marina Restaurant At Grand Lake

Under New Ownership

In development.

By Land Or Water

Free Tie Up – Red Arrow Dock

Juan Montez Restaurant

Juan and Janet Montez opened up Juan Montez Restaurant & Bar in Cleora at Red Arrow Marina on July 4th, 2015 and my Brother Steve Montez came to help. Juan has been involved with Mexican restaurants most all his life. The Montez Family moved From California to Kansas City when Juan was about six years old. “My Uncle Monty pretty much got my dad and his other brothers going in Mexican restaurants, we had three major restaurants in Kansas City. One was located on Broadway and would seat like three to Four hundred people. It also had a dance Floor. They got a wild idea, being on Broadway, to provide entertainment. They hired a 12-piece Mariachi Band. My cousins and I were part of the entertainment, along with another couple, performing as Mexican Hat Dancers. It seemed like a lot of fun until it turned into a job with no pay. OF course, working For a Family was to be expected. It was quite entertaining and I made good tips. Didn’t get to keep them, but I made ’em. 

“In 1963 my dad, mom, brothers, and sisters moved to Joplin where we started a Mexican restaurant called Casa Montez. It took off really well. Matter of Fact Casa Montez is still there in Joplin, currently owned by my brother-in-law. It’s doing well, then we branched off and did a restaurant called Benito’s, in Joplin. I decided in 1999 to move to Grove and open a restaurant of my own by Sail Boat Bridge called Juan Montez Mexican Restaurant. I was there for 10 years and did well. 

In the meantime, my son Carlos opened a Mexican restaurant in Langley, next to the Pensacola Dam, called Carlos Montez, which has successfully been running for 16 years. I eventually went to work For Carlos and was with him for 7 years until he decided I wanted to try again to open my own Mexican restaurant. 

“You’ve got to be a little nuts to be in the restaurant business and love it. I do love it, but the restaurant business is tough, although you’re supposed to make it look easy, but it’s not. Guess it is just in my blood and I enjoy it. So here I am at Red Arrow Marina with Juan Montez Restaurant and Cantina. I enjoy cooking and visiting with people. It’s kind of Funny when customers come in from out of town and say, ‘Boy, you’ve got it made. You’re at the lake in the restaurant business.’ I tell them that I guess they are right, but that I was thinking the same thing about them. On holidays and weekends, you’re here playing and we’re working! We get to play and stick our Feet in the water maybe after you go home.” 

Juan and Janet have been together for 22 years. Janet grew up on Grand Lake on a small farm in Cleora and at the age of 14 she worked at the original Red Arrow Cafe So, this is kind of like coming home for her.  Janet has worked in the Marine Business for 37 years and loved looking up parts. When not working there she is working at the restaurant wherever needed. “It could be waiting tables or doing dishes,” laughs Janet. “As far as the restaurant business you do it all “Whatever needs to be done you just jump in and do it. This year Janet Has finally come to the Restaurant full time we are a team here at Juan Montez Restaurant we think of our Employees as family.