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Thread: Original Chili's Closing

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    Original Chili's Closing

    Original Chili's to close Wednesday

    Chain's first eatery on Greenville opened in 1975


    07:26 AM CDT on Tuesday, October 30, 2007
    By KAREN ROBINSON-JACOBS / The Dallas Morning News
    krobinson@dallasnews.com

    The original Chili's Grill & Bar, on Dallas' Greenville Avenue, will close Wednesday, the company said Monday.

    The restaurant was opened in 1975 by Larry Lavine, a Dallas restaurateur, and grew into a chain that now has nearly 1,400 outlets.

    "Based on a number of evaluative criteria, the difficult decision was made to close the Chili's Greenville Avenue location at the end of the month," the company said in a prepared statement.

    "Chili's has 73 locations in the Dallas area, and we will continue to look for opportunities to expand our presence in our home market," the statement continued.

    The company said it is working to reassign the restaurant's workers to other Dallas outlets.

    The building is to be shuttered midday on Halloween. It opened in spring 1981, replacing the original building, which opened across the parking lot, at the corner of Greenville Avenue and Meadow Road., on March 13, 1975.

    "The neighborhood has changed from when I was there," said Mr. Lavine, who left Chili's and now has his own company, Turtle Creek Restaurants LLC. "It's probably not a good area [for casual dining] right now, certainly not what it was before."

  2. #2
    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    If they had kept the original building, it would have been an attraction in itself, drawing thousands and thousands of people -- DUMB STUPID IDIOTIC move when they tore it down and replaced it with the corporate 'stand alone' formulaic folly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakewooder
    If they had kept the original building, it would have been an attraction in itself, drawing thousands and thousands of people -- DUMB STUPID IDIOTIC move when they tore it down and replaced it with the corporate 'stand alone' formulaic folly.
    What did it look like??

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    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    They should open a flagship Chili's downtown.

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    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFWCRE8TIVE
    They should open a flagship Chili's downtown.
    I know that's right.

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    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    Smile... :) mikedsjr's Avatar
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    I never realized chili's started in dallas. Chilis is my favorite chain restaurant.
    Listen to the Dividing Line, Pirate Christian Radio, CARM, White Horse Inn and RTS University the most nowadays.....

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    Uptown Member DallasMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFWCRE8TIVE
    They should open a flagship Chili's downtown.
    This is an AWESOME idea! I bet it would be a big attraction if it was somewhere near the center of downtown off of Main. I know it would work well for lunch, but I would worry about evening business...people would go downtown for a destination restaurant, but the Chili's at Knox keeps us in Uptown when we want Chili's. Hmm...

  9. #9
    Formerly Trolleygirl2 CityLove's Avatar
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    I ate at Chili's last night. Good stuff, reasonable prices. A good standby chain restaurant when you don't really want to go anyplace special.

    Oh and I would love to have one downtown.
    I tell everyone...I smile just because...I've got a city love...

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    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    I thought there was a Chili's in the West End.

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    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikedsjr
    I never realized chili's started in dallas. Chilis is my favorite chain restaurant.
    What kind of a self-respecting Dallasite are you? Oh, wait......nevermind.

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    Formerly Trolleygirl2 CityLove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    I thought there was a Chili's in the West End.
    Nope, but there is a Friday's. And Friday's doesn't have the Guiltless Grill, so it's definitely not the same.
    I tell everyone...I smile just because...I've got a city love...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakewooder
    If they had kept the original building, it would have been an attraction in itself, drawing thousands and thousands of people -- DUMB STUPID IDIOTIC move when they tore it down and replaced it with the corporate 'stand alone' formulaic folly.
    There wasn't room when Greenville Avenue was widened. So we're just going to miss out on all those tourists! :2oohmnky:

    Here's a little trivia. Blockbuster and On The Border also both started in Dallas. Who remembers where their first locations where?

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    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    There was room - you could park in front of Chili's original building on Greenville.

    Blockbuster was at Medallion where the dreaded Applebee's now resides - On The Border was on Knox where the Smith and Hawken store is now -- Mariano had a 'cabrito grill' place there prior...

  15. #15
    Smile... :) mikedsjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    What kind of a self-respecting Dallasite are you? Oh, wait......nevermind.
    :2lol:

    Take it as a sympathy vote of approval.
    Listen to the Dividing Line, Pirate Christian Radio, CARM, White Horse Inn and RTS University the most nowadays.....

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    Member xdavidwattsx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakewooder
    There was room - you could park in front of Chili's original building on Greenville.

    Blockbuster was at Medallion where the dreaded Applebee's now resides - On The Border was on Knox where the Smith and Hawken store is now -- Mariano had a 'cabrito grill' place there prior...
    Was that really the original Blockbuster? I had no idea. Applebee's blows, so does Friday's and most of the rest of those casual chains. If I had to eat at one, though, I would eat at Chili's.

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    Low-Rise Member Forrest Gump's Avatar
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    I drove by the Chilis about an hour ago and just about all the signs and logos are being removed and windows are being boarded up.

    They did not waste any time moving the sfuff.

    I think it will look like an eyesore in the morning.

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    I saw the truck there... I wonder why it closed, the parking lot was usually full, there are not many places left to eat in that area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgrieves
    I saw the truck there... I wonder why it closed, the parking lot was usually full, there are not many places left to eat in that area.
    I'm not sure how, but my wife has known for like a month it was going. I've been there several times in the last few months, and it was amazingly packed every time, more so than any other Chilis I go to. Only thing I can think of is all those apartments behind it that are now being torn down.

    Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgrieves
    I saw the truck there... I wonder why it closed, the parking lot was usually full, there are not many places left to eat in that area.
    It's a wonder Good Eats has stuck around this long. And the Chili's always seemed much busier than Good Eats ever was.

  21. #21
    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    Sayres on Fox4 claimed that the original building was destroyed by fire -- I don't think that is the case unless I'm having an early senior moment. I think he is a bit younger than I but he often talks about the 1980s.

    In any event if that were the case then the reports of the old building being in use until the new one was completed do not jibe.

    I don't think I would still have this feeling of 'why did they tear this down anger' if it had been consumed by fire.

    Anyone?

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    Not sure about the original Chili's fire rumor, but I have heard there are plans to redevelop this site along with the old Uncle Julio's next door. One of their waitresses told us that Chili's did not own the land and they were being kicked off so the property could be re-developed, possibly into some kind of medical office.

    Here is a link to the tax record for the property
    http://www.dallascad.org/AcctDetailC...00367934700000

  23. #23
    Uptown Member DallasMan's Avatar
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    Aren't all those apts being torn down going to be re-developed into nicer, higher density? I dont think that would have anything to do with them leaving - I think the explanation of them having to leave b/c of redevelopment of the site is more likely.

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    I worked for Brinker for several years, and I don't think it burned down.

    There are pictures of employees at the original building, and they are helping to tear out the inside... I believe it was town down.

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    Please Drive Normally. Random Traffic Guy's Avatar
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    Flagship Chilis downtown or Trinity levee would be cool, they could test out new recipes there like they used to at the old one in Las Colinas. Live music on the patio, decent prices, nice.

    I prefer Cheddars but I've enjoyed my time at the old #1 location. It was always busy but parking and access was a problem. I don't see the adjacent apartments going away would be a problem for their business, but I could be wrong. However, let the Valencia project get a good toehold and there will be plenty of restaurants in the area. There will be lots of middle income folks living nearby and the presby lunch crowd keeps getting bigger too.
    "Deaths on the road are to today's criminal justice system what domestic violence was in the past: as natural & inevitable as the weather."
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    Sophisticated Boom-Boom US75Guy's Avatar
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    The area at Greenville/Meadow is fine and going to get better when Valencia starts building their new development on Meadow. It is funny that they closed as I used to avoid the restaurant because of the crowded parking lot and long waits to get a table. I really hoped they were moving the Chili's to the old Uncle Julios bldg (with its great outdoor patio) and make more parking.

    Go figure.

  27. #27
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by US75Guy
    The area at Greenville/Meadow is fine and going to get better when Valencia starts building their new development on Meadow. It is funny that they closed as I used to avoid the restaurant because of the crowded parking lot and long waits to get a table. I really hoped they were moving the Chili's to the old Uncle Julios bldg (with its great outdoor patio) and make more parking.

    Go figure.
    Yeah well , I don;t think the crime rate's gotten any better over there. It's still Vickery Meadow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by US75Guy
    The area at Greenville/Meadow is fine and going to get better when Valencia starts building their new development on Meadow. It is funny that they closed as I used to avoid the restaurant because of the crowded parking lot and long waits to get a table. I really hoped they were moving the Chili's to the old Uncle Julios bldg (with its great outdoor patio) and make more parking.

    Go figure.
    What is the latest with the Valencia project?...I heard they were trying to sell some of that land off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xdavidwattsx
    Was that really the original Blockbuster? I had no idea.
    It's true. Blockbuster started in Dallas, moved their HQ to Ft. Lauderdale, and then moved the HQ back to Dallas.
    Last edited by Tucy; 02 November 2007 at 02:07 PM.

  30. #30
    Real Estate Member Uptown72's Avatar
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    My first job (busboy) was at the original Chili's there. In retrospect, it was pretty cool - being the first Chili's. All the roaches in the kitchen, the dirty silverware just run through hot water and the floors that looked like they had an inch of mold when the lights were turned up (which they never were when it was open). Ahhh, those were the days!

    I heard that the Valencia deal is not proceeding well - in that they are looking to sell or take on a partner. I think that it will take many many years before we see the fruits of that redevelopment. Anything is better than what is/was there though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uptown72
    . I think that it will take many many years before we see the fruits of that redevelopment. Anything is better than what is/was there though.
    Agreed. Since the trees were saved when all those apt. complexes were torn down, the area is nice and woodsy. Even if nothing is built for a while, it's still a much nicer drive down Meadow than it used to be.

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