A restaurant in Texas has made itself a household name by putting up hilarious signs again and again, day after day, year after year. The Austin-based establishment named El Arroyo has had its sign board since its opening in 1975, and 45 years later, it’s still out there cracking everyone up.
Paige Winstanley, co-owner of the restaurant, says about their signs: “In these times when much is unknown, El Arroyo finds comfort in bringing smiles and laughter to our community on a daily basis.” With 284K Instagram followers, the restaurant is surely doing everyone who’s rolling through 2020 one heck of a service.
So let’s take a look at the new favorites down below, and after you’re done, check out part 1 and part 2. If you suddenly feel inspired, hit them up with a smashing sign idea via email@example.com and you may well become a part of El Arroyo’s humorous legacy.
Imagine putting up one fresh sign every day for the past forty years or so. It’s no surprise that with such a sea of witty puns and smashing one-liners, some are just bound to anger people.
That’s precisely what happened back in 2005 when one of El Arroyo’s signs revealed a plot twist in the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But the employees of the restaurant aren’t afraid to fire up some controversy with their quips like “NFL Slogan: Why have integrity when you can have ratings?”
Austin Monthly magazine has also suggested that their sometimes bold remarks were the reason why someone tried to burn the restaurant down in 1998.
Bored Panda reached out to Laura Schulte, brand partnerships and social media manager at El Arroyo, to find out more about their iconic sign.
Laura told us their marquee was “first put out by the street in front of the restaurant by our original owner over 25 years ago to promote restaurant specials and write funny quotes.”
Today, El Arroyo gets several submissions a day from people from all over the world who wish to get their witty one-liners heard. Laura said the staff picks what to put up in terms of “what makes us laugh and is most applicable to current events.”
Throughout the years, El Arroyo’s signs have certainly blown up and attracted customers from all over the country and the world, said Laura.
She also said that the most popular signs are usually the ones that are “relatable and funny to large groups of people.” “We've seen a lot of success with our signs about past elections, and current events such as commentary on the pandemic.”
In order for such a sign to go viral on social media (and many of them do!), Laura said it takes the right person to share it, like celebrity or a popular meme account, and it has to be genuinely funny.
According to El Arroyo’s official statement, “over the years, we've covered every food pun imaginable while never forgetting witty commentary on current events, but the face(s) behind the daily marquee messages remains a secret for now.”
Maybe not quite a big one, since these days, most sign puns are submitted by fans online and you can try your luck and wit too!