SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The community in Old Town Scottsdale was shocked to learn that the owner of a popular restaurant had passed away from a short battle with COVID-19 on Monday.
Teddy Bernal, the owner of Frank and Lupe’s Old Mexico restaurant at Indian School Road and Marshall Way, passed away after a 10-day battle with the virus. He was only 45 years old.
“He always wanted people to be happy,” said Diana Prieto, Bernal’s wife.
The name Frank and Lupe’s is a nod to Teddy’s parents, who were also restaurateurs in New Mexico. The menu at Frank and Lupe’s is inspired by the flavor of New Mexico.
“He was very proud of his restaurant,” Prieto said. “He was a very hard worker. He was very patient, very courteous.”
Bernal’s passing has, of course, been hard on the family. His son Teddy Bernal, Jr. is not sure how to face his customers when returns to work. Frank and Lupe’s customers were like family to Bernal Sr.
“I go back to work on Thursday and I don’t know what I’m going to say to customers that are going to ask, you know, ‘where’s Teddy?' Everyone wants to see him he always brings a smile to people's faces no matter what day it is,” Bernal Jr. said.
The family said it’s important to note that they do not believe that Teddy contracted the virus at work, saying they go above and beyond the CDC recommendations.
Bernal was not the only one in his family who contracted the virus, his wife Diana tested positive for COVID-19 too. After a few days in the hospital, she was sent home to recover unlike her husband Teddy.
Prieto said that even though he’s gone, Teddy would not want people to stop going to Frank & Lupe’s in Scottsdale; it was his second home, and he would want everyone to continue to support the family.
For more information about a future celebration of life head to their Facebook page.