Entrepreneurs Find Success in Diverse Economy

 

Story and photos by Pamela Price

Originally printed in April 2010 issue of Leon Springs Community News

Rick and Kat Pennington, Rickati's Espresso and Gelato Shop

 

Sixteen years ago a Dallas Morning News journalist described Leon Springs as “not so much a town as a laboratory.”

The writer went on to relate how then-upstarts Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q and the first Romano’s Macaroni Grill were running full-tilt on the IH-10 frontage road, attracting an estimated 15,000 visitors each weekend. Although the Macaroni Grill location closed in the late ‘90s (The Grill at Leon Springs has since opened in its place), both then-young businesses mentioned in the story went on to greater success—and franchising. 

Mike Taylor, Leon Springs Business Association president, recalls dining at Phil Romano’s Italian restaurant. “Going to the chain-style versions today is not the same. It did have a real country store, family flavor and of course waiting for a table was never an issue because the wine flowed ‘freely.’”

Taylor regrets that kind of local story isn’t more top-of-mind for residents, especially given how businesses and entrepreneurs past helped shape the community today. “I would personally like to see Leon Springs devote more attention to recalling its history,” Taylor says. “I think everyone on our board would welcome any organization to work with us to put some of the history back into our community.” Continue reading “Entrepreneurs Find Success in Diverse Economy”