The Tex-Mex restaurant is famous for witty messages on their marquee sign that stands on the corner of West 5th and Campbell in Austin, Texas.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 19, 2021. It has since been updated.
If you're having a rough start to the week, here's one way to beat the blues! Not only has El Arroyo been serving Tex-Mex food in Austin for more than 25 years, but the restaurant is also particularly famous for its witty messages on the marquee sign that stands on the corner of West 5th and Campbell in Austin, Texas. The restaurant's rotating quips have garnered a massive following where they've covered every food pun (and more) imaginable. Sometimes they do add a motivating message as well as shed light on current events. Paige and Ellis Winstanley, the couple behind the famous restaurant, tell Austin Monthly, the signs didn't always receive love. Paige shares, "Pissed-off people were calling regularly about its messaging back then. So, we tried to do two things: Harness a voice that toes the line between uplifting, snarky, and of-the-moment, and lean into the social media side of things. These days, we have more than 660,000 followers across all our platforms." Adds Ellis, "Unless it’s a public figure who really asks for it, we want it to be a beacon of genuine love for the spirit of Austin. We stay on top of current events, too. You wouldn’t believe how many times we’ve come up with quips on a text chain where we’re just spit balling and bulls***ting and, 30 minutes later, it’s up." Here's a look at 25 of their best signs:
Did you pick a favorite yet? Well, the owners have a few. Paige says hers include “Last queso stop before a bunch of yoga studios” and “Unless you fell on the treadmill, nobody wants to hear about your workout.” As for Ellis, he adds, "We ran two signs about vegans, including, 'If you’re a vegan who does CrossFit, which one do you talk about first?' This militant vegan organization rallied followers from around the world to give us one-star ratings on Facebook. Then, all the Texas people came to our defense with five-star ratings and posting pictures of the animals they’d gotten on their last hunt. It got intense. The kicker here is that I’m a vegan now."