Austin

Did El Patio Just Pull A Fast One On All Of Austin?

austin.eater.com: After closing this past August after 65 years, the beloved Tex-Mex restaurant El Patio is coming back, as reported by Austin360. The 2938 Guadalupe Street restaurant is aiming to reopen by the end of September.

El Patio’s return is still staying within the family. El Patio 2.0’s new team includes C3 Presents co-founder Charles Attal (the Austin-based event production company); Kristyn Ciani (his cousin and granddaughter of El Patio founders Paul and Mary Joseph); Attal’s sister Jennifer Attal-Allen; her son Sled Allen; and Jesse Herman (who has been a partner Austin hospitality group New Waterloo).

Mostly nothing will change when El Patio reopens this fall. Expect the same menu served by the same staff, though there will be new drinks offered by the bar.

The Lebanese couple opened the restaurant in 1954, and their children, David, Renee, and Roseann, took over the restaurant after Paul died in 1995. They wanted to close the restaurant so that they could retire. Its last day had been in August.

Excuse me? I waited in line for 2.5 hours on a concrete slab during the peak of summer only for El Patio to reopen two months later? We got hosed! And trust me, I did not want to wait in that line. Personally, I think El Patio sucks. But, my grandparents very first date in 1959 was at El Patio, so, my Dad dragged the entire family for “one last dinner” when it was announced they were closing. When we were there, I specifically said — wouldn’t it be funny if El Patio made so much money from their closing announcement that they say fuck it and reopen — well now it’s not so funny.

This was obviously the plan from the get go. Tell everyone they are closing, make a big todo about it and then boom two months later reopen. El Patio 2.0 will argue it’s different owners and this wasn’t the plan. Well, that is bullshit. Some of the new owners are (1) related to the original owners and (2) no way they just decided a month after closing they would buy it and reopen. This was in the works for a long time and they knew poor assholes like me and my family would fall right into their trap. And we did.

A money and marketing scheme to the highest of degrees. They got everyone feeling nostalgic about El Patio, made a ton of money the last two weeks it was open, and then two months later do this bullshit. Shame on you, El Patio. Hook me up with free queso and margs for life and I just may forgive you.

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