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Last two Pancho's restaurants, including West Memphis original, closing this weekend

by Eric E. Harrison | October 27, 2021 at 3:08 p.m.

The last two remaining restaurants in the Pancho's chain, including the original at 3600 E. Broadway in West Memphis, are closing this weekend, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.

Saturday will be the last day of operation for the West Memphis restaurant, which opened in 1956, and the restaurant at 717 N. White Station Road in East Memphis. Merdis White, manager at the White Station Road restaurant, confirmed the closures Monday to the Memphis newspaper.

White said the owners will be focusing their attention on the Pancho's cheese dip and salsa, which is sold in more than 1,200 stores.

The Pancho's website, panchosdip.com, recounts the restaurant's origins: "When Louis Jack Berger graduated from high school, his father, Morris, surprised him with a trip to Mexico. Not only did they enjoy the trip, they discovered flavors, colors and taste sensations that inspired them to open the very first Pancho’s in 1956 in West Memphis, Arkansas."

Nine months after it opened, an 18-wheeler destroyed the original building, which had packed dirt floors and a live tree, salvaged during construction, as its centerpiece, but the family tore down a nightclub it owned on the current site, called the Plantation Inn, and built the restaurant anew.

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