After serving Tex-Mex cuisine in Lawrence for nearly 50 years, Border Bandido will close its doors this June, according to owner Mark Arndt.
“We’ve had a good run here,” Arndt said. “It was time to shut it down.”
Arndt said he wanted to close the restaurant, located at 1528 W. 23rd St., so he could retire. He was involved in every aspect of operating the restaurant, including taking orders at the counter and cooking in the kitchen.
Heather Summers, a cashier at the restaurant, said Border Bandido has been successful for as long as it has because of its regulars. Summers, who has been working at the restaurant for 12 years, said Arndt knows almost every regular’s order.
Arndt said that since he took ownership of the restaurant in 1984, the restaurant scene in Lawrence has become extremely competitive. Arndt said it has been hard to keep up with. Even though Border Bandido is one of the few restaurants in Lawrence that serves Tex-Mex, he said the type of food isn’t as popular as it used to be.
“Tex-Mex has kind-of gone by the wayside,” Arndt said.
Arndt said the business of the restaurant has been very consistent. He said businesses become unsuccessful when they are run by multiple people with different visions, which then causes the business to lose its consistency.
“It’s a tough business,” Arndt said.
Arndt said when he started working at the restaurant there were only about one-third of the restaurants that are now open in Lawrence. He’s proud Border Bandido has lasted this long despite the large number of restaurants in Lawrence, he said.
“I’ve done well with it,” Arndt said.