CLOS­ING UP AN ICON

In Austin, much-loved Jaime's Span­ish Vil­lage say­ing adios to its cus­tomers

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE -

his is a story about an­other loss of an Austin in­sti­tu­tion, with a good-will-to­ward-men twist.

Jaime’s Span­ish Vil­lage, the old-timey Tex-Mex res­tau­rant at 802 Red River St. known for its lowslung ceil­ings and mar­gar­i­tas, is clos­ing af­ter los­ing its lease.

The res­tau­rant, which opened 79 years ago when Her­bert Hoover was pres­i­dent, shut down tem­po­rar­ily on June 30 at the land­lord’s or­der, said Char­lie Tames, the cur­rent owner.

But Tames has re­opened the place for most of the rest of this month so he can give the pro­ceeds made at the res­tau­rant dur­ing those weeks to his em­ploy­ees. The place was back open Thurs­day, but the last chips and salsa will be served on July 30. Tames has to be out by the next day.

“I have a day job,” said Tames, who runs the in­ter­na­tional depart­ment for Mer­rill Lynch here in Austin. “The eas­i­est thing for me would be to turn off the lights and go back to my day job. But that’s just not right.” They’ll also take do­na­tions for the work­ers.

“If some­body do­nates, say, $15, to the em­ployee fund, we’ll give ’em a free jar of hot sauce,” Tames said. Jaime’s is known for its hot sauce and queso and, for decades, was a hang­out for Uni­ver­sity of Texas stu­dents and politi­cians who wan­dered over from the Capi­tol.

Tames says the res­tau­rant is clos­ing be­cause his land­lord, Tom Bullard, who owns the Wood­stock Inn on the Mill­stream in Wood-

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