The Texas Bennigan’s Begin Again

The new owners of the Bennigan’s restaurant chain are hoping to get as many as 10 new Bennigan’s franchises opened in Houston, and they’ve hired a broker to scout for sites. All 20 Bennigan’s in Houston (as well as 6 Steak and Ale restaurants) closed in 2008, after their parent company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Bennigan’s Franchising Co. is also searching for as many as 10 locations in its Dallas-Fort Worth home base and 5 each in San Antonio and Austin, as well as single locations in other Texas cities. New restaurants will likely look something like the new 4,200-sq.-ft. prototype the company built last fall in Appleton, Wisconsin (above), but don’t necessarily have to be stand-alone buildings, says Daniel Harris of Henry S. Miller Brokerage. Also in development: a fast-casual “Bennigan’s On the Fly” for airports and colleges.

Photo: Real Points

25 Comment

  • Why? Were they turning people away at Applebees?

  • If you are going to eat at a joint like this choose Cheddars.

  • What makes them think they are going to be a success now? The new logo!?

  • It gets me thinking. I don’t remember when the original Bennigans closed. I can’t say I remember ever missing Bennigans. While I admit I ate at Bennigans a few times, I don’t remember a thing about it. It was neither good or bad–a remarkably unmemorable experience. I’m not sure about the new ones. Going for the airport market is not a good sign at all.

  • Though I didn’t cry when they closed, Bennigan’s was one of the only chainy restaurants I actually liked to go to once in a while back in the day – a couple of decent menu items, the bar(tender), and the trivia at the Kirby location..

  • What value is there in that name that would cause someone to buy it and franchise it vs. starting a new name with no baggage?
    But to echo a comment above, I used to LOVE Cheddars. When I first moved to Houston, I lived at beltway 8 and Westhiemer (eww) and they built a Cheddars near me. I really liked it. Though the service was often TERRIBLE.
    If I wasn’t such an inner loop snob, I’d still go there from time to time. :-)

  • if they bring back that monte christo sandwich, i will be there.

  • monte cristo, the single most unhealthy sandwich ever concocted, and true I too will be back. Miss the old days of cocktail arcade machines, virgin daquiris, and cheese sticks.. Ah what an unrefined pallete I once had..

  • A few years ago, my sister and I went to the Bennigan’s on Kirby and the Southwest Freeway under the (correct) theory that no one we knew would be there and the bar would have fruity umbrella drinks. Until then, we were thoroughly unaware that Bennigans had TWO happy hours. One from five to seven, and another from nine to eleven.

    At nine o’clock, regulars started rolling in for $2 cosmos and $3 flautas. It was awesome.

  • Monte Cristo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Yeah, we used to get the Monte Cristo too.

    Who knew?

  • Ah yes – it’s all coming back. The Monte Cristo, Turkey O’Toole, and whatever that salad was with the fried chicken and TONS of shredded cheddar cheese.

  • Cute title. Long live the monte christo. I’ll be back, damn you.

  • Please bring back Bennigans to Fort Worth. Monte Cristo= Fried Heaven

  • NO … My grandmother fell in the old Bennigans on San Felipe @ Voss. The dumb ass manager couldn’t have cared less. He did when I mentioned the sticky carpet was loose on the dark,unlit steps and we’ll be calling the health department, and a lawyer!!! Bennigans go away!!!

  • Ah the great American bar/restaurant concept with the square shaped bar and potato skins and beer. Remember Houlihan’s? The Cellar Door? Bennigan’s brings the 70’s into the new age once again. Extra cheese and sour cream on my skins please, and don’t forget the bacon bits.

  • Sorry – surely I’m not the first person to have this thought. Is this the chef-driven restaurant that Ainbinder et al. had in mind for the Yale Street Walmart?

  • There was a Bennigan’s at San Felipe & Voss? Must have been many moons ago.

  • I too once loved the monte cristo sandwich. But I have not once missed Bennigan’s. I think we have enough chains.

  • I don’t think I have been to a Bennigan’s since my ex-wife worked there when we were in college. It was terrible, except for that burger with the disk of fried cheese and marinara sauce on it! I would kill to have my old metabolism back.

  • I only went for dessert. The Apple Crisp, was out of this world. Monte Cristo was awesome too. But I can’t fathom eating that now, I would probably go in to food shock.

  • Welcome back the pieces of FLAIR!!!

  • Spotted one this morning at Westheimer and Dunvale.

  • OK I thought it was my imagination that I saw one at Westheimer and Dunvale…I went to their website and didn’t see any mention of locations in Houston (yet) Bennigans reminds me of college, because we always went there after football and basketball games for the happy hours… GO COOGS!

  • bennigan’s is back… yet as a sever there… i can say my self it wasnt as good as it was before.. we are still missing a few major food in the menu but we still do have our famous monte cristo and slowly through out our opening we will add the rest to the menu…
    i understand why people would dislike bennigan’s due to their past experince… but i can say come visit us @ westhimer and dunvale… we wont disappoint you. :)