Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Famous Restaurant is Ducking Out

I was quite dismayed to read over the weekend that the Duck Inn in Lake Dallas is closing its doors on December 1 unless a new owner can be found:
Just as renovations of the hush puppy room at Tierney's Duck Inn are complete following a fire last year, the doors of the well-known restaurant are about to close.

Greg Tierney, who reopened the restaurant in May 2002, is planning to close in Lake Dallas by Dec. 1 and open the Old Town Café and Tavern in Lewisville.

[...]The 8,424-square-foot building is now up for sale for $639,500, according to Steve Howard, whose grandmother, Nellie Howard, opened the catfish restaurant more than 60 years ago.

With the rights to the restaurant's name, Duck Inn, and the knowledge of family recipes, Mr. Howard said he hopes to find someone to reopen the restaurant that is the family's legacy.

"Help me find somebody who wants to keep it alive and I'll do like I did with Mr. Tierney and I'll come and show them how to do the hush puppies," he said. "I'm one of the only people who know how to cook them."

Mr. Howard said that Mr. Tierney, who was leasing the building, wanted to purchase it, "but he didn't have the funds to purchase it for what it was appraised for." Mr. Tierney said he made an offer to Mr. Howard, but it was less than the amount the family was seeking.

The building needs renovation, he said, and the cost of the building was too much.

"It's a gamble I'm not willing to take," Mr. Tierney said.
Besides having great catfish and hush puppies, the Duck Inn has recently been home to the Original Texas Jazz Orchestra, a big band of UNT faculty and other alums, led by my former professor Jim Riggs. (Among the many highlights have been the regular appearances by Leon Breeden, Director Emeritus of Jazz Studies at UNT.) The once-a-month gigs are resuming this weekend, and the excitment about their return has now been tempered by the news of the Duck Inn's impending closing. I really hope that either someone will be able to buy the restaurant and keep it open without interruption, or that the band will be able to find a new home in the area.

A good walk spoiled by a not-so-good ride: Across the country, golfers are getting upset at courses that have instituted mandatory cart requirements in order to speed up play.

Somebody give this guy a hand: A London teenager went to visit his girlfriend, parking his motorcycle outside her house and leaving his prosthetic hand attached to the bike's grip. When he came back out ten minutes later, the bike was still there, but the hand was gone.

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