This is a hard one. Writing obituaries is my least favorite part of this job but penning this one is gut wrenching.

La Reyna, one of Austin’s longest running Tex Mex diners, has shuttered. Established in 1974 by the Fernandez family, the old gal had a nigh 4 decade-long run before being purchased by Marisela Godinez of El Meson fame in 2011.

Unfortunately, Godinez’ Midas touch did not take hold and La Reyna has passed on into the Austin folklore of places like El Carnivore and Jaime’s Spanish Village. Where am I supposed to get my $1.75 breakfast pork chop now?

And my stovetop hot breakfast salsa?

And a dozen tamales to-go, any day of the year-not just holidays?

And a side of sass with my morning coffee from Mary, one of the sweetest old school waitresses in Austin?

I had a bad feeling when that damned singing frog mural went up a couple years ago. It smacked of desperation. This morning I don my La Reyna t-shirt and drink from my La Reyna coffee mug and daydream about all those fine mornings I brought in at the old girl.

And I’d give anything to remember the name of that Mexican trio that used to play every Thursday night. I spoke with the singer once after being floored by their 3 part harmonies and he told me their music was “a reaction to the Beatles” who’d blown his young mind when he was a boy in Monterrey, Mexico.

epilogue: El Guapo, from Godinez is slated to open in the same space later this Fall.

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