Despite pushback from residents, Pappas Restaurants confirmed that the owners of the chain purchased the historic Como Motel in Richardson, located on U.S. 75.
According to WFAA, Christina Pappas, Pappas Restaurants director of marketing, wrote in an email on Sept. 12, 2023, that the chain closed on the property. Pappas, which owns restaurants like Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen and Pappas Delta Blues, has 88 locations across the U.S.
"Our primary goal in purchasing the property is to make the area more secure for the safety of our guests, team members, and neighbors," Pappas said. "We have yet to formalize any plans for development or demolition and are interested in hearing proposals for developing the property."
Local Profile previously reported that after learning about the Como Motel’s potential demolition, residents in Richardson organized to keep the local landmark in place.
On June 12, 2023, a group of residents began an online campaign for the conservation of the motel by opening a Facebook account, a website and a petition on Change.org called “Save the COMO” that managed to gather almost 5,000 signatures.
With an almost 70-year history, the Como Motel was the first motor lodge built in Richardson, and it's the sole surviving testament of the golden age of American motels in the city. Between the ‘50s and ‘60s motor hotels (mo-tels) that provided lodging and parking were all the rage for American tourists who traveled the country in their brand-new cars.
Residents in Richardson also rallied against the demolition of the building because of its connection to one of the most famous true crime stories from the area. The COMO Motel was the place where Candy Montgomery and Allan Gore met during their affair in the late ‘70s.
But it’s not just nostalgia that brought people behind the conservation efforts. Another reason listed in the residents' petition is the potential financial benefits preserving historic buildings could bring to the city. Citing a report by PlaceEconomics, the petition states that heritage tourism generates $12 billion every year in Texas alone.
Details pertaining to the purchase of the Como Motel have not been released.