BIG AL'S BLOG: Sad Day as The MAT Closes

February 26, 2018

Business is HARD! Sure, it can be fun, rewarding, and if you are lucky, it can even be profitable. But sometimes it can be challenging, difficult, and just down right hard! But like they say, if it was easy, everybody would do it. I have been fortunate enough to have been the owner of a few businesses over the years. A limo service, a bar in Playa del Carmen and some restaurants in Dallas as well. All of which had some good times as well as some bad times. But, I’m grateful for every single day that the Lord blessed me to have been in business and all of the lessons learned.

I stumbled into Mckinney Avenue Tavern almost 9 years ago. And 2 months later, I was the owner. But today, I’m the former owner.

I ALWAYS took a lot of pride in owning this place. And sure, we had events and parties and all sorts of fun. But more than anything else, we made friends. Customers, employees, vendors, it didn’t matter. We were all family. Over the years, I have gone to dinner with customers, I have taken employees to Mexico, and I have gone to weddings of customers, and sadly, a few funerals too. But that’s what families do. But at the end of the day, when you are in business, tough decisions have to be made every single day. And after eight years of selling wings, pizzas, burgers and beers, I had to make the decision to close it down. Lately, Business had been going from ok, to slow to slower. There were good days sprinkled in from time to time but overall, it was not great. And despite all of the drive and perseverance and positive thoughts and LOTS of prayers, I had to make a decision. “Hang in there” worked for a while… but even that had become old and tiresome.

Telling my staff was maybe the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life. Shawn has been with me for 6 years. And I grew up with him. And the man doesn’t know what the words “day off” mean. Benito, my head cook has worked there for over 14 years. He rides the bus to work and is still never late. He whistles Christmas songs all year long! Danica, my head bartender, has never been on time! Well, maybe 4 times. But I love her anyway and she has earned my Love, trust and respect. The list goes on and on. And my customers are the best ever! Like I said, we are family.

I was so hurt to let everyone down. I have cried like a baby all weekend long. But it was time. I don’t know if there is EVER a good time to quit. But sometimes, we have to put on our Big Boy pants and make a decision. And I did.

To my Mckinney Avenue Tavern Family. I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am for having to make the decision to close our doors. For the last eight years, this place has been home. Not just my home but (Hopefully) YOURS too! And I Thank You ALL for stopping by for a drink or Big Al’s Balls!! -- It wasn’t just the building that made the MAT, The PEOPLE Made the MAT. The customers, the employees, the Football Fans, The Karaoke singers, YOU made the MAT! There was just a feeling that you got when you walked in the door. All I ever wanted was to have a Comfortable bar where people could have fun, drink with your friends or make some new ones! And boy, did we make some friends! I will Always Cherish EVERY single time the entire bar joined hands as we sang “Lean On Me” together! I am proud to say, That ONLY Happens at the MAT! So, to all of the Customers, All of the past employees, to All of our vendors and all of the listeners of the show that stopped by to say hi, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for all of the GREAT TIMES!