Friday, July 25, 2008

A farewell to Denny's

Though it may seem odd to mourn the closing of a Denny’s, I was a bit sad to see the Denny’s on Burnet Rd. next to Northcross Mall assume room temperature last week.

Denny’s may be crap, but it’s just about the cheapest place in North America where you can be served breakfast in a non-fast food setting. I took many $2.99 Grand Slam Breakfasts at the Northcross Denny’s over the years. It was a fine way to start the day whenever there was an obscure state holiday or presidential funeral that gave me a respite from the rat race. Why compete for cheese when you can get eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes for one low price?

As the waitress refilled my cup with go-juice, I’d thumb through one of those motel discount guides and consider just hopping in my car and driving to some random, mundane destination like Tucumcari, N.M. to stay at a Days Inn for $39 plus tax. Needless to say, this was in the days before $4/gallon gas.

The most fun I ever had at the Northcross Denny’s was on Jonathan Toubin’s 21st birthday back in 1992. Denny’s used to give you a free meal on your birthday before they realized enterprising cheapskates would hit every location in town for multiple free meals.

After an evening of watching Jonathan shock several local bartenders with the news that they’d been serving him illegally for years, a bunch of us crammed into Denny’s after closing time to participate in the free meal ritual. My memories of that early morning repast are foggy, but I do remember bunny-hopping out of the restaurant to the amusement of staff and fellow diners alike.


Anonymous said...

So many memories of that particular Denny's. Grew up with it and had many a late night/early morning there myself. I drove by it yesterday and thought it seemed empty, but had no idea.

Anonymous said...

How do you feel about this?

--Mike Corwin

Greg said...

The gods of bankruptcy can have Bennigan's, but losing Steak & Ale will take time to process. Lots of childhood memories in that place. In fact, the first restaurant I remember dining at in Austin was the old Steak & Ale on Anderson Ln. back in 1975 when my family was visiting from Dallas. That place was really hopping back then.