Tex-Mex Crisis

Matt's Rancho Martinez loses more locations in local Tex-Mex empire

Matt's Rancho Martinez loses more locations in local Tex-Mex empire

Tex-Mex restaurant chain Matt's Rancho Martinez has closed two of its five restaurants, in Cedar Hill and Colleyville, as part of a reorganization to offset financial difficulties. The branches in Lakewood, Garland and Roanoke remain open. 

"Matt's as a company and family business had to take drastic measures and make life-changing decisions," said owners Estella and Matt Martinez in an email, describing their financial situation as an "uphill climb."

Joaquin & Marco Inc., the chain's parent company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, describing sales as "sagging" at the two locations, and blamed the "protracted construction" of the Whole Foods Market in Colleyville.

"We are taking actions to regroup, reorganize, restructure and take a close hard look internally to resolve issues that determine whether we are a sustainable business," said the Martinez couple in their email. "Lakewood, Garland and Roanoke are still operating and healthy."

Matt's was founded in 1985 by Estella and Matt Martinez Jr., who opened the original branch in Lakewood. Though known for its chiles rellenos and signature Bob Armstrong dip with queso and seasoned beef, Matt’s menu goes beyond trite Tex-Mex with dishes such as chicken-fried steak and frog legs.
 
Matt Martinez III took over after his father, Matt Jr., died in 2009, and he has not been afraid to expand. He's seen the company through some rocky changes, including the uprooting of its original branch in the heart of Lakewood, which moved to Skillman Street in 2012, after getting bumped by Mi Cocina. An Allen branch closed in February 2014.
Tex-Mex plate at Matt's Rancho Martinez
Matt's Rancho Martinez is still serving up Tex-Mex in Lakewood, but Colleyville and Cedar Hill are out of luck. Photo via Facebook