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Bankrupt Snuffer's and its Cheese Fries Get a Bailout from the Owners of El Fenix

Bankrupt Snuffer's and its Cheese Fries Get a Bailout from the Owners of El Fenix
Scott Reitz

The Firedbird Restaurant Group, which is owned by Mike Karns and includes El Fenix, Meso Maya and Taqueria La Ventana, has acquired the debt of Snuffer's Restaurants Inc., and will help save that iconic Dallas restaurant's most important contribution to the local culinary scene: those monster cheese fries.

Snuffer's filed for bankruptcy in March. There are seven Snuffer's restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area; Snuffer's Restaurants Inc. operates five of those. The original location on Greenville Avenue that was demolished in April is scheduled to reopen in the fall and was not a part of the bankruptcy.

It's not clear how this will all unfold through the bankruptcy case. In a statement, Karns said his company had bought the bank note and liens for the failed chain. "Our goal is to utilize the multifaceted financial and operational resources at Firebird to maximize this investment."

Since Firebird has purchased the debt and is the secured lender in the bankruptcy proceedings, they will subsequently monitor the operations. Meanwhile, Pat Snuffer will continue to run the business with his team.

Karns hopes his vast restaurant industry experience, which also includes Sunrise Mexican Foods, will give the group a "unique, knowledgeable perspective as a lender."

There's no indication if chef Nico Sanchez will starting passing out cheddar fry tacos through his taco stand window behind Meso Maya in downtown, but we can always dream.


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