This has not been a good 24 hours for burger joints with names based on obscure references.
First came the news Thursday morning that Thurber Mingus, the White Settlement Road restaurant/beer garden named after a freeway exit of Interstate 20 (for the towns Thurber and Mingus), had closed.
Later in the day we learned that Bronson Rock Burgers & Beer, a Keller restaurant that gets its name from motorcycle slang for any unusual tool used to fix a bike (itself a reference to the 1969-’70 TV series Then Came Bronson) has also shuttered.
“Bronson Rock is permanently closed,” says a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Thank you for five wonderful years. This is just an announcement being made on behalf of the bar. I regret that I cannot provide details or answer questions.” The restaurant’s official website also has the closing announcement.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t come as a big surprise. A separate, unofficial Facebook page is filled mostly with complaints from musicians who said they hadn’t been paid for playing gigs at the bar.
And there have been erratic closings and reopenings the last couple of weeks.
A drive-by Saturday evening indicated it was open, with a healthy crowd outside. But there was still a sense of fragility about the restaurant. And then Thursday the closing was made official.
In our 2012 review of Bronson Rock, we praised the burgers and the vibe, which had a funkiness that reminded us of prefab Fred’s Texas Cafe. The restaurant had a large patio area where you could often hear garage and cover bands blasting their music through Old Town Keller. Bronson Rock was also a favorite spot for motorcycle groups.
The burgers at Bronson Rock made a strong showing in DFW.com’s 2015 Battle of the Burgers, ultimately losing to Crowley’s even funkier Nicky D’s.