After Closing Original Location Last Year, San Diego's Decades-Old Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant Shuttering Another Branch

May 15, 2024

After closing its original branch late last year, San Diego's Tio Leo's Mexican restaurant has announced it will soon shutter another location. 

Leo Sciuto was once a nightclub owner who always wanted to open a Mexican restaurant. Although he was a full-blooded Italian, he liked the atmosphere at Mexican restaurants and loved the food. Leo eventually found a location to open his first restaurant in San Diego's Mission Gorge and had a friend draw up a design for the restaurant. The friend mailed the plans in a tube and jokingly addressed it to Tio Leo, which means "Uncle Leo" in Spanish, and the name just stuck. Leo Sciuto passed away in July 2020 at 91 years of age.

Last year, the original branch of Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant, which was founded in 1979 at 6333 Mission Gorge Road in San Diego's Mission Gorge/Grantville area, closed its doors. It has now been announced that the Poway location will close after end of business on May 26. The Poway restaurant is the company's most recent, making its debut in 2019.

Tio Leo's also once operated restaurants in Mira Mesa and Del Mar, but those locations also closed. The branch at 5302 Napa Street in Linda Vista will remain in operation for the time being.  

For more information about Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant, visit