It seems as though the 2007 Austin Enchilada Controversy has come to an end. The Perez sisters who own Las Manitas on Congress Avenue have decided to turn down the mostly forgivable $750,000 loan from the City of Austin. In a statement released earlier today the sisters said,
"We concluded that trying to operate a small business under these circumstances is not practical or consistent with how we have successfully run our business for over two decades. We fell we would lose a lot of our independence. And that isn't an acceptable option. Twenty years from now, both of us will be in our 70's. For all of these reasons, it simply no longer makes business sense for Las Manitas to enter into this loan."
This is a good thing for the city, for Las Manitas, and the future of the loan program. As you can read from my previous posts on this matter here and here, like many other Austinites I was never in favor of this deal. I'm glad they made the right decision no matter what their reasons were.
I have very close friends who love Las Manitas and were behind this deal from the start. They may even be able to talk me into having lunch there again some day.