snufferHow much of a neighborhood institution is Snuffer’s? I had a neighbor once who became a vegetarian because, he said, it was the only way he could get himself to give up the restaurant’s legendary hamburgers and cheddar fries. Otherwise, he’d eat lunch at Snuffer’s and go back to his office and fall asleep – and never get any work done.

That’s what makes the news that the 32-year-old chain, which started on Greenville Avenue and now has seven locations, including Northwest Highway and Preston, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday. This is just another indication of how hard the recession hit the restaurant business, and smaller restaurants in particular.

The good news is that Snuffer’s will stay in business while it restructures its debt. The bad news is that, as one corporate finance type told me years ago, no one really knows what a business will be like when it comes out of bankruptcy. We’ll just have to hope for the best.

And is it time to tell the Snuffer’s ghost story again? Pat Snuffer swears it’s true.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Preston Hollow.