Thursday, July 31, 2008

For Family Fun and Great Food, Too...

"Where will Butters and his parents celebrate special events now?"

Sadly, that actually was the first thought that crossed my mind after hearing the news that Bennigan's restaurants across the country closed after its parent company (which also owned Steak & Ale and something called Tavern) filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The move comes amid hard times for horrible sit-down dining chains, but don't fret... more than 100 franchisee-owned Bennigan's outlets will remain open for people who can't get enough Guinness Glazed Popcorn Shrimp. (Erp!)

All snark aside, I have to admit that Bennigan's actually played a vital (sad?) role in the development of The Hungover Gourmet. It was the first establishment where a young, high school-aged THG was actually served beer thanks to the power of a fake ID. I still laugh at the memory of the waitress eyeing up the non-photo driver's license which stated I was a full six years older than my 16.5 years, all while I was wearing a high school varsity jacket with my graduation year (still a year away) affixed to the sleeves.

Farewell Bennigan's... you'll always have a special spot in my heart liver.

1 comment:

fdextro said...

When I take the bus to work every morning, I stand in front of a Bennigan's. I walked up to the door this morning and there was a hand-written sign taped to the window that said, "We have closed due to inability to pay payroll."

These kinds of places definitely served two types of clientele: families and legally-challenged drinkers. Up north, I used to frequent The Ground Round and Beefsteak Charlie's, whereas down south it's Chili's and Ruby Tuesday. At this point in my life, with no family and not a chance of getting ID'd, none of these places offer much appeal anymore. If I heard TGIF was going under tomorrow, I wouldn't shed a tear.

After all... I'll happily live the rest of my life if I never have an artichoke/spinach dip again.

All the best,