Firebird Acquires Snuffer’s Bank Note

A press release arrived in my inbox this morning that says Firebird Restaurant Group, which is owned by Preston Hollow resident Mike Karns, has “acquired the bank note and related liens” for Snuffer’s Restaurants, which was founded by fellow Preston Hollow resident Pat Snuffer.

I’m no businessman, so I’m not exactly sure what that means. Is Snuffer’s now part of the Firebird group, which also includes El Fenix? Or does it mean that Mr. Snuffer now owes Karns a bunch of money that he used to owe the bank?

I do know this: That press release has conjured up a mental image of El Fenix’s cheese enchiladas and Snuffer’s loaded cheese fries on the same plate. … Mmm … cheese …


Barbara Buzzell
The Buzzell Company
214-912-0691 (m)


DALLAS, TX (July 25, 2013) – Firebird Restaurant Group, LLC has acquired the bank note and related liens for Snuffer’s Restaurants, Incorporated from Texans Credit Union.

Mike Karns, CEO and owner, Firebird Restaurant Group, was initially introduced to the bank by Pat Snuffer and pursued the opportunity to acquire the note. Firebird purchased the debt and is the secured lender in the bankruptcy proceedings. Through that process, they will monitor the operations of the debtor.

“I saw this as a worthwhile investment and knew that Firebird Restaurant Group’s expertise in the hospitality industry gives us a unique, knowledgeable perspective as a lender,” said Karns. “Our goal is to utilize the multi-faceted financial and operational resources at Firebird to maximize this investment.”

Pat Snuffer has devoted years of work in the concept, connects with his customers and has created a well-loved Dallas brand, Karns said.

Firebird Restaurant Group, LLC, owned by Mike Karns, currently has three successful, award-winning restaurant concepts including El Fenix, Meso Maya and Taqueria La Ventana, covering 25 locations in two states.

Karns believes in the preservation of important restaurant brands. He purchased the iconic El Fenix brand from the founding Martinez family in 2008 and continues to grow and strengthen the company, preserving the restaurants’ heritage. In September 2013, El Fenix will celebrate its 95th anniversary with a month-long celebration.

There are seven Snuffer’s restaurants throughout the Metroplex, drawing loyal fans to its burgers and cheese fries. Pat Snuffer opened his first Snuffer’s Restaurant & Bar in the Lower Greenville area of Dallas 35 years ago. The original location on Greenville Avenue was recently demolished and is now under construction, scheduled to reopen in the fall.

Snuffer’s Restaurants, Incorporated, which operates five of the stores of the popular chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, March 4, 2013. Pat Snuffer continues to run the business with his team.

About Firebird Restaurant Group:
Firebird Restaurant Group, LLC is owned by Mike Karns, CEO, and operated by him and the rest of the Firebird team. Firebird currently has three popular, award-winning restaurant concepts covering 25 locations in two states:

El Fenix – The restaurant was founded in 1918 by Mike Martinez, a Mexican immigrant who opened a small restaurant on the corner of Griffin Street and McKinney Avenue. Often, at its main location in downtown Dallas, the lunchtime line of patrons spills out the front door and down Alamo Street. El Fenix is renowned as the originator of “Tex-Mex cuisine” and the restaurant’s Wednesday “Enchilada Dinner Special,” which features two cheese enchiladas, refried beans, and rice. Acquired by Firebird Restaurant Group in 2008, El Fenix was recently refurbished with freshened interiors and a revamped menu, while maintaining its signature core products.

Meso Maya — The restaurants offer “an adventure into the fresh, bold and earthy flavors of authentic interior Mexico” with a menu inspired by natural ingredients from Mexico with from scratch moles, adobos, salsas, and hand-ground tortillas.

Taqueria La Ventana – A funky taqueria with a walk-up window offering everyday Mexican street food with a menu of handmade tacos, burritos, churros, beers and margaritas. With outdoor seating only, guests can pick up tacos to go or enjoy dining in the Taqueria La Ventana garden at hand-crafted iron tables and benches. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In addition to Firebird Restaurant Group, Karns owns Sunrise Mexican Foods which produces high quality Mexican food products including fresh made chips, tortillas, flautas and tamales for retail and food service operations coast-to-coast.


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