It is with great sadness to write that Guadalupe “Lupe” Martinez, husband, father, brother, uncle, and friend, unexpectedly passed away on July 11, 2021. He was born on December 12, 1946 in Teuchitlan, Jalisco in Mexico. He was born to parents, Jesus Martinez and Petra Rosales.
Guadalupe immigrated to the United States in 1964 to play soccer as a top recruit of the championship San Nicolas Soccer Club and to forge a better life in America for his family. Lupe’s success was not limited to Soccer, and after working in other restaurants in the city, he found his own success as owner/operator of Café Especial, then La Perla Bakery, Lupe’s Super Antojitos, Franco and Rosa among others. In July of 1969 he married the love of his life, Lilia and had three sons.
Lupe always dreamed of owning a restaurant in the heart of his beloved downtown Santa Barbara. His big break finally came in 1997 when he took over the helm and ownership of Ruby’s Cafe located on the 700 block of State Street. Ruby’s Café was a local Fiestas hotspot for many years serving up delicious food and drinks. Ruby’s Café was such a success it led to a second location in the city of Oxnard.
Over the years, Lupe received many awards and recognitions for being an entrepreneur, supporter of youth sports organizations, soccer clubs, and a staunch supporter of the community. He was honored as Latino Restaurateur and Business Owner by the city of Santa Barbara and
Oxnard. He was also awarded the 1994 Extra Step Award by the California Legislature Assembly.
Lupe is survived by his wife of 52 years Lilia Garcia, his sons and their wives, Javier, Miguel (Alma), Mario(Danielle). Grandsons, Cristian, Miguel Emiliano, Diego Alejandro, Max and three granddaughters, Jasmine, Isabella and Camilla, three brothers and five sisters and many nephews and nieces.
He will be sorely missed by his family, colleagues, and friends, for his good humor, caring attitude, and his beautiful smile brighten everyone’s day. Lupe was most proud of his humble beginnings and the contributions he made as an immigrant to his beloved community of Santa Barbara. Always willing to lend a helping hand he will forever live in all of our hearts and memories.
A memorial service will be held in his honor on October 2, 2021 at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, 5444 Hollister Ave. at 10:00 am followed by a Celebration of Life Reception at the Moose Hall, 110 West Victoria Street.