At Last, Candlelite Inn Reopens Today!



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It has been 999 days since the last meal was served here.

And you’ve been on edge awaiting its re-emergence.

Can’t blame you. It always seemed like the perfect place. Atmosphere. Food. Drinks. Memories.

The best guacamole ever.

The wait is officially over. Make your way to 1202 E. Division St, where everyone’s favorite Candlelite Inn swings its doors open again today at 11 a.m.


The menu is the same — an eclectic mix of Tex-Mex, steaks and Italian fare. There is nearly twice as much space, including a new bar, banquet area and private dining room. The ambiance will be familiar with its recognizable Christmas lights, private booths with jukeboxes and red checkerboard tablecloths.


You will find a beautiful new mural depicting Arlington’s past and present on a wall.

What makes this story extra special is the Arlington community that has supported Alan Petsche since he acquired the restaurant in 2011. Not only are 5,000 locals on the restaurant’s Facebook page, but another page was created when the original reached its friends limit. It now has over 2,000 members.

Spend one minute on either Facebook page and you’ll notice the passion and fond memories customers have for this place.

40 employees (including several past team members) and former owner Bill Testa (now Candlelight Inn manager) will be serving old faves like Mexican meat salad, italian steak, spaghetti, pizza and more.


As for today’s relaunch, if you’re fortunate enough to snag a table, give the gang a break if kinks are still being ironed out. You can bet your bottom dollar the restaurant will be busy. But whether you get in today, tomorrow, this weekend or next week, expect that excellent vibe (and grub) you’ve come to know and love.

What else is left to say about the restaurant the Keith family started in 1957 (which also was the first to serve pizza in Tarrant County)? Kudos to Alan and his team for helping bring the Candlelight Inn back to life. Cheers to another 50+ years.


Candlelite Inn

1202 E. Division St
Arlington, Texas 76011
(817) 275-9613
Hours of Operation
Sun-Thurs: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri-Sat: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Map it!

Photo credits: Doug Penneman



  1. Nathan C. says

    We went Friday as I hoped to create some memories for my daughter just as I had of this spot growing up in Arlington.

    1 hour wait was expected for table. 1 hour to get our food wasn’t my wife’s plate to be made wrong wasn’t either yet as a restaurant manager I could have walked out still saying it was opening week and those issues arise.

    But when Mr. Bill Testa himself walks over and ask my wife what’s your problem can’t you see we are busy what do you expect lady- now I understand why it went away- made me very sad

  2. Ken hardin says

    We brought out of town guest for lunch Friday 9 May and all ordered the 2 enchilada lunch at $6.99, but was served the Enchilada dinner at $8.59 plus a charge of $1.19 each (4 guest) for “1 side Ck Ench” not ordered. That was explained by the server as “that is how the computer rings it up”. The enchiladas were average and the salsa tasted as a mix of tomato juice and vinegar. When I phone called management about 4:PM 10 May to express my opinion I was told, ” there was no one available to take my call” and when I related the problem was told, “they would try to break some loose”. I was put on hold and waited a reasonable amount of time before I hung up. You can be assured that when ask , “how was the new Candlelite Inn” there will be a descriptive negative response from us and our guest. Regret the unsatisfactory dining experience and last visit to the “New Candlelite Inn of Arlington”