I noticed this over the weekend and I will have to say it got me feeling all sorts of ways. This location has been a mainstay in Amarillo for years. It most recently was Leal’s before they closed their doors earlier during the pandemic.

Before that it was Gardski’s for many many years. I worked there from 1994 until 1998. It was a great place to work. Made a lot of great friends. Oh and Amarillo has lots of great memories. They did a remodel back in 1997. Which I really think was the downfall of Gardskis.

They talked about wanting a different clientele. Oh and they got rid of their drink specials. Ugh. That was the year that a lot of us put our names in the cement in front of the restaurant.

credit: Melissa Bartlett, TSM

We did get in trouble for etching our names. To be fair we did get approval from one of our managers. Anyway as I drove by over the weekend that part of Gardski’s was gone! My name. Gone. It said “Melissa 1997”. So it stayed there for almost 24 years.

I remember apologizing to Victor Leal years after he took over. My name was still there. He always said that when and if he opened a new place he wanted me to put my name there. He said that was good luck for him. I think it was more his great food but hey I will take it.

credit: Melissa Bartlett, TSM

I do know seeing this all torn up really tore me up and made me remember all my days eating at Leal’s and working at Gardski’s.

The Incredible Street Art You'll Find Hidden Around Amarillo

Amarillo is full of astonishingly beautiful artwork in the most unlikely places. Check out our collection of the hidden gems you'll find around town. Some, you'll recognize from Downtown and others you might have to go hunting for.