Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's an end of an era: Browning's is closed

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 12:18 PM

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Hope you savored that last Saltillo Plate, Browning's fanatics. Because last night the Heights Tex-Mex standby shut its doors, possibly for good.

"We closed because we were operating with significant losses," said David Ashmore, who purchased the restaurant from the Phelan family in 2007 with partners Richard Harrison and Wally Roland (Harrison left the partnership after the first year). "We're trying to regroup."

Which includes courting potential partners and buyers, Ashmore said.

Opened for more than 60 years, Browning's was one of the city's oldest restaurants and the first to bring Tex-Mex to Little Rock. Even as tastes evolved, the restaurant's menu barely changed, which earned Browning's a rabid following that seemed to be deeply informed by nostalgia. If you grew up eating Browning's, you probably adored it. If you were one of us who didn't, the appeal was mystifying.

Katherine Wyrick explored "The Browning's paradox" in the Times back in 2008.

If nostalgia was the fuel that powered Browning's — that's my theory — then it had to run empty at some point, right?

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  • Kat Robinson
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  • Kat Robinson
Additional: Yeah, it was a shock. I saw the note posted right before I went on TV earlier today. Went by to check it out for myself, since I didn't receive that press release. The signs, I must say, were interesting. "CLOSED - I have been deported - Don Pablo" seemed a bit startling, in my eyes. ~ KAT

PS — Extended discussion on Browning's also on Arkansas Blog.

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Speaking of...

  • A facelift for Browning's

    October 8, 2010
    The Saltillo Plate lives! But this might be a Pyrrhic victory for Browning's adherents who've been supping on nostalgia all these years: The new Browning's, scheduled to open in 60 days, is decidedly not going to be the old Browning's. /more/
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