First restaurant: Little Rock, Ark., in 1989; opened in Dallas at Preston-Royal in 1998
Total restaurants: Four: Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth, Allen (the two original Little Rock locations have since been sold)
Company philosophy: “Usually Purple Cows go into higher-income areas with some office buildings around the location, so we’ll get a nice lunch traffic,” company president Don Lindsley says. The Preston-Royal location is an exception because it’s surrounded mostly by other shops and restaurants. Purple Cow’s claim to fame is being the only restaurant in the world that sells purple Blue Bell ice cream. “It’s made just for us in Brenham,” Lindsley says. The fare and atmosphere are popular among kids and their parents. “We have a kids menu, but our regular menu is basically a giant kids menu,” Lindsley says. “We do serve alcohol, so if mom or dad has had a rough day at the office and needs a glass of wine or an ice cold beer, that might be the deciding factor in them picking us.”
Expansion plans: A new Purple Cow — “the first in a long time,” Lindsley says — opened in March 2010 at The Village of Fairview, a recently developed shopping center in Allen near the outlet shops. “It really is a matter of the owner of the property putting an attractive deal on the table for us,” Lindsley says of potential future locations. In the case of The Village of Fairview, “they pursued us; we didn’t pursue them.” Though the restaurant enjoys its popularity among young families, this market alone “might not be a good thing,” Lindsley says. “We wouldn’t want a bedroom community where mom and dad hop in the car every day and go to lunch, and we’d be empty every day for lunch.”
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