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After nearly 30 years, Vernon's Little Tex restaurant closes its doors

The Little Tex restaurant in Vernon is pictured in the image from Google Street View.
The Little Tex restaurant in Vernon is pictured in the image from Google Street View.

After nearly 30 years in the restaurant business, the iconic Vernon eatery Little Tex has closed its doors.

Owner Tracy Burrell told she was "broken" by the decision to close.

"My feeling is that Vernon needs this place," Burrell said. "Every family I ever watched come here had a great experience."

The California-style Mexican restaurant opened in 1992 and the 29 Street eatery has been a staple in Vernon's food scene ever since.

Burrell said she bought the restaurant in 2018 with her husband Shamis, but the first year didn't go well with the road being closed over the summer and fall.

Burrell says she estimates the restaurant lost between $50,000 and $70,000 due to the road closure. She said it took also a year to recoup those losses when COVID-19 struck.

The restauranteur said complications with her mortgage renewal meant the business couldn't apply for a federal government pandemic loan that would have carried the business through. She never reopened after closing in March when COVID-19 hit.

In July, a loyal customer created a Gofundme campaign for the business when she heard it was struggling to reopen following its closure in March due to COVID-19. The Gofundme campaign goal of $25,000 wasn't reached but the community did raise more than $5,000 in an effort to keep it afloat.

Burrell said the funds went to pay overdue suppliers and she was overwhelmed by the community's response.

A clearly emotional Burrell said she would have loved to have kept the restaurant going, and hopes someone takes it over and keeps Little Tex alive.

While her husband when back to work in construction, Burrell said she is now working at the popular Midtown Bistro.

Burrell said the restaurant is holding an onsite auction Nov. 14.

"Perhaps you'd like a memento or some handy kitchen equipment to remember us by?" reads the post, before adding: "Until we meet again."

The restaurant asks anyone interested in the auction to contact them.

Little Tex's Facebook page can be found here.

— This story was updated at 2:55 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, to include comments from the owner.

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