Tex-Mex oldie Original Mexican Eats Cafe closes location in Fort Worth
One of Fort Worth's oldest restaurants is closing: The Original Mexican Eats Cafe, which has been open at 4713 Camp Bowie Blvd. for nearly a century, will shut its doors at the end of March.
In a Facebook post, owner Robert Self said the restaurant will consolidate operations at its other location, The Original del Norte at 1400 N. Main St., which opened in the former El Rancho Grande space in 2021.
The Camp Bowie restaurant will serve its final meal on Friday, March 31.
A representative said they were leaving due to a dispute with landlord Joe Frank Musquiz, which has been ongoing since 2010.
Muzquiz's mother, the late Leticia Grimaldo, signed a lease proffered by Self in 2003 in which The Original paid $27,000 per year, without consulting an attorney. Muzquiz, who inherited the property in 2014, says that taxes alone were $26,000, with looming expenses that include a $100,000 new roof and $20,000 in parking lot repairs.
Among the restaurant's most famous patrons over the years were President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his son, Elliott. In their honor, The Original created a signature dish, the Roosevelt Special, featuring a cheese enchilada with chili con carne, crispy beef taco, and chalupa with beans & cheese.
Self said they cherished the five generations of customers who have supported them by loving their enchiladas, tacos tostadas, margaritas, and laid-back ambiance.
He also thanked their staff for their professionalism and friendly service. All Camp Bowie employees will be offered positions at the North Main location.
To make the Northside location more "Camp Bowie like," they're planning to dress up the bar upstairs, which provides a larger space than the location's smaller bar on the first floor.
"We recognize and regret that this is the end of an era for Fort Worth's West Side, and want to emphasize that we are dedicated to carrying on The Original's fabulous food, fun atmosphere, and long-running traditions at our Northside location," they said.