Everything I Like Causes Cancer

Where we've been convinced to write a new post on Dec. 2. Stay tuned!


Adios, amigos.

Posted by Gwen |

I interrupt our regularly scheduled question and answer session to memorialize the passing of a St. Louis institution, Chuy Arzola's, an authentic Tex-Mex restaurant that closed it's doors permanently last night. In business since 1989, it was my good friend Brian's most beloved of all restaurants. I was skeptical of going on the last night, wondering if they'd have any food, drink, or places to sit, but Brian was so forlorn that I relented and met him there around 4:30. He and I sat at the bar until 9 drinking margaritas, eating what he dubbed The Last Supper, reliving past drunken dinners and commiserating with other loyal patrons.

Chuy's was an interesting place. I was never crazy about the food. It was good but it didn't rock my palette. Brian, on the other hand, loved the Austin. I'm not sure he ever ordered anything else.

Brian's last Austin.

For me, it was about the atmosphere and the margaritas. One reviewer summed it up nicely, "The scene is ultra-casual. You could dine here in pink plastic flip-flops with your hair still wet after a soak in your hot tub, and no one would look at you twice. In fact, the menu demands that diners "maintain a happy and relaxed attitude to conform to our atmosphere." In keeping with Chuy's laid-back character, the servers are dressed down, but don't let their casual appearance fool you. They're pros who know how to keep their customers happy."

Speaking of the service, there was a chip basket full of pens and note cards on the bar last night so that heartbroken patrons could write final messages to the management and staff. A photo album filled with these cards told stories of first dates, proposals, parties, and family gatherings, stories of children who would only behave and/or eat there, and tales of drunkenness, but the most common sentiment was love for the staff: Angel, Santos, Eddie, Chuy, Vanessa, and many others whose names I can't remember after my 5 margaritas. Noticeably absent, in my mind, was any mention of the host of many years who left a while back to open his own Mexican restaurant. Whoops.

I suspect that the rest of you were also out given that today is a national holiday. Hope you had a good time.
I'll be back later with some more answered questions. In the meantime, enjoy the someecards.com card I'd have sent you if I wasn't too lazy to cut and paste all your email addys.


Whiskeymarie said...

I love the margaritas in plastic cups. Farewell, Chuy Arzola's.

I would have gotten you a card but I'm way too lazy.
Happy fourth!

Renaissance Woman said...

Happy fourth! Loved the card. LOL

Farewell Chuy Arzola's...I will never have the chance to dine in my robe!

Dr Zibbs said...

That does suck when a place that that closes. The only way to really give it a proper thank ye' of course is to burn it to the ground.

Moe Wanchuk said...

I love a restaurant with Astro Turf for carpet. You can spill beer....or even puke on it. We have it in our family room, looks awesome with my refrigeratoritized lazy-boy.