Founder of famous Fresno taco truck La Elegante dies

For decades, Don Benito could be seen in the well-known light blue taco truck.

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ByNic Garcia via KFSN logo
Thursday, June 30, 2022
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Benito Arenas, known by many as Don Benito, founded La Elegante with his wife, Celia, in 1985. He passed away on Sunday of health complications at age 88.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The well-known founder of an iconic Fresno taco truck and shop has died.

Benito Arenas, known by many as Don Benito, founded La Elegante with his wife, Celia, in 1985.

He passed away on Sunday of health complications at age 88.

For decades, Benito could be seen in his famous light blue taco truck, and later at the shop he and his family opened in Chinatown.

It was one of the first taco trucks in the Fresno area.

The truck's regular spot in the early days was near the old Pick-A-Part off Muscat and Maple.

Benito's lasting legacy is the work ethic he and Celia instilled in their seven children.

All of them - at one time or another - have worked for the restaurant.

It gave them a special experience to bond with the man behind the taco truck window.

"I would look at my dad, the way people responded to him... his charisma," says Adolfo Arenas.

Now they look through photos, remembering his crisp look, perfect mustache... and his love of mariachis.

Over the decades, the Arenas family has been feeding Fresno's taco lovers - and while they're pausing to mourn the loss of their patriarch, they will continue the legacy.

"Benito was and will always be an icon here in the local Fresno area when it comes to tacos and restaurants," says Ray Ortiz with Fresno Street Eats.

The Arenas family is inviting the public to attend the Rosary and funeral Mass for Benito this weekend.

The viewing will be held at 4 pm on Friday July 1. It will happen at Lisle Funeral Home at 1605 L Street. The Rosary will follow the viewing from 6 to 8 pm.

The funeral mass is on Saturday July 2 at St. Alphonsus Church at 11 am. St. Alphonsus is located at 351 E. Kearney Blvd.