Robert’s Restaurant began in April of 1978 by Robert and Donna Bartke; however, its roots go back much further.
In 1961, Gus and Kay Balon and their two daughters, Donna and Laura, made Tucson their home and opened their first restaurant, the Catalina Café located on the south east corner of Grant and Country Club. In 1965 the Balons built Gus Balon’s, located on east 22nd street. The following year, Donna Balon married Robert Bartke. Robert had been with the Tucson Police Department for two years when he left to begin working with his father-in-law, Gus. Robert worked at Gus Balon’s for ten years and during that time Gus taught Robert all aspects of the restaurant business.