Feb. 10, 1971: Larry
and Dorothy Rainosek open the Frontier Restaurant
in a 99-seat space previously occupied by the Country Barn at Cornell Drive and Central Avenue Southeast.
...Just last month, Frontier owners Larry and Dorothy Rainosek got UNM's approval to buy the university's Tamarind Institute building on Cornell Drive, just south of the Frontier.
"We had about 20 customers and took in $56 that first day," Larry Rainosek
, 64, recalled recently.
"We had about six parking spaces when we opened," Larry Rainosek
said."We're up to about 120 now."
, the son of Czechoslovakian-American parents, grew up on the family dairy farm in La Grangeo, more than 65 miles southeast of Austin.He
got into the food service business not long out of high school because working on a dairy farm can make anything else look easy.
And on a farm, you have to know how to fix tractors and everything else, so that's why Larry
is good at keeping the equipment running and things unclogged here.
wanted to call their business the Burger Barn because of that yellow, barnlike roof, but his
wife and others thought Frontier
would be better, partly because New Mexico was a new frontier for the Texans.
They adapted the decor to the name, hanging wagon-wheel chandeliers and decorating the walls with spurs, firearms, steer horns, Western paintings and Navajo rugs.
In 1980, the restaurant acquired its first John Wayne portrait.Now there are six or seven depictions of the Duke throughout the Frontier
"We thought John Wayne fit in with the Frontier theme," Larry Rainosek