by Max Brantley
Multiple reports say the financially troubled Bennigan's restaurant chain will be closing nationwide. The North Little Rock outlet was open at lunch today and a woman who answered the phone said they'd received no word of closure. (A reader said he believes one still operates in Hot Springs.)
Bennigan's -- and macho nachos -- remains an indelible part of the memories I compiled in the early 1970s when I moved to Little Rock. I particularly remember drowning my sorrows in a beer after a catastrophic vehicle inspection nearby required virtually every penny I had -- and some help from home -- to get my car back to legal Arkansas operating standards. I didn't understand then that the Arkansas tradition was to ignore the vehicle inspection and skip the license plate, too. Pardon my reminiscence.
UPDATE: Wall Street Journal reports that both Bennigan's and Steak and Ale (talk about memories) have closed their doors and filed for bankruptcy. It will close some 300 restaurants and put thousands out of work. WSJ says assets likely will be liquidated and the restaurants won't be reopend. Here's Bloomberg.
UPDATE II: Times of NLR reports that the Bennigan's in NLR is a franchise operation and will stay open,