Goodbye to a great dive: A 1960s cowboy steakhouse closes near Fort Worth Stockyards
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The M&M Steak House, an old pub known for cold beers and £2 garlic steaks, is officially closed and up for rent, owner Keith Kidwill said this week.
The M&M, a landmark for Stockyards visitors since 1965 at 1109 N.W. 28th St., had not reopened since the pandemic began in early 2020.
But Kidwill harbored hopes of reopening the tiny, dimly lit West Texas-style cowboy steakhouse, with its jukebox loaded with 1950s country songs and concrete block walls covered in neon beer signs and taxidermy.
"We're best known for being a diver," Kidwill said this week.
In a 1995 Star Telegram review, he said: "We're not a tourist place. Nobody stops here unless you know us or someone sent you.”
A two pound tenderloin at the M&M Steak House on August 5, 2008.
The restaurant was originally a Czech-style steakhouse, Papa Joe's.
In 1965, restaurateur Joe Hubenak opened the steakhouse, which serves cowboy-sized sirloin with garlic, veal fries, and frogs' legs.
After Hubenak's death in 1976, restaurateurs Mike Mabry of Mike's Diner in Haltom City and Marie New of Marie's Diner Downtown joined forces to rebrand the steakhouse as "M&M."
Kidwill is best known as a West Exchange Avenue investor. Some of his properties were recently used in Taylor Sheridan's television series 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, the owner of 6666 Ranch.
M&M Steak House owner Keith Kidwill serves a 2-pound sirloin with a baked potato, salad and a cold beer August 5, 2008.
Kidwill, 63, started at M&M and bought it when he was 17, he said.
"I was as stupid as can be and had no idea how to run a restaurant," he said.
The location on the edge of the Stockyards is still good for a small steakhouse, he said.
"It's just about time I stopped running two restaurants," he said.
The M&M Steak House in Fort Worth, seen on June 27, 2019.
He also owns the even older Margie's Original Italian Kitchen, 9805 Camp Bowie Blvd. West.
In a 2008 review of M&M, Star-Telegram wrote, "Unless you're picky about the decor, the atmosphere or the side dishes, the M&M is a great place for steaks."
The "dusty old cafe feels like the setting for a western," wrote the reviewer.
A ribeye steak at M&M Steak House on January 14, 2011.
The review touted the hamburger steak, a pound of chopped sirloin loaded with garlic and grilled onions.
Even the fried chicken steaks were pounded with extra garlic.
The only side dishes were baked potatoes or fries, served with an iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing.
The M&M received a shock in 2003 when a driver crashed a Honda Accord into the west face at 3am one night.
Stuffed animal heads and neon beer signs were thrown through the air. The original jukebox was destroyed along with 45rpm country singles by Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and Hank Thompson from the 1950s and '60s.
The M&M has remodeled and replaced the jukebox and upgraded the toilets.
Commenters on Yelp.com described it as "a taste of real and classic DFW" and "the perfect hole in the wall."
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