Chapman Chile House in Peril

Pour yourself a another cup of coffee, this is a sad tale. Remember when I told you about the Dallas Health Department shutting down the Farmers Market at Celebration by requiring vendors to have mechanical refrigeration? I just got off the phone with Randal Chapman of Chapman Chile House in East Dallas. He says the DHD has also shut down Green Spot and Bolsa (unconfirmed). “Losing those Farmers Markets was really huge for us,” said Randall. “We were supplementing our income at them every weekend.”

Oh, it gets worse. Check out the blog post from Chapman’s website yesterday (T/H to CB ):

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2009
The Will To Survive:

We may not be able to overcome the location, size and hours we are open. Our son, Graham, and me have had flu symptoms all week so I have not been in to help Fran. It seems clear that the owner of the building has no interest in renovation and therefore we will not be able to expand. I need to focus all my efforts on finding a job so we can at least keep our house even if we have to close the kitchen.
I apologize if this sounds doom and gloom but it looks like we need some kind of miracle.

Health Department issues aside, Randal and Fran are cursed with a “slumlord” who refuses to “get the construction of our expansion” going. (The tiny spot on Carroll and Worth has plans to add an additional dining room.) “He tells us the building isn’t for sale,” said Randall. “But he doesn’t care about this place. He bought it in the mid-80s and it’s just chump change to him.”

Jump for the rest.

“The other day Fran and I were reviewing our disasters,” said Randal. “In 8 months we have been broken in to, flooded, and the front door fell off and shattered. Also a storm caused our 220 [electricity] to go out and we lost all of our meat in the freezer. Someone cut the power at a vacant place next door and power went down again and we lost everything.”

But Randal still had his day job as the vice president of software development at GHN. “Oh no, they let me go after the article in the paper [DMN] came out,” said Randall. “The owner saw the article hanging in the coffee room, didn’t like it, and let me go.”

At this moment, Fran is down at the Dallas Farmers Market securing a spot in Shed Two where they will be selling this weekend. They plan to keep the restaurant open for limited days and hours and work the DFM on the weekends. “We don’t plan on giving up,” said Randal. “We’re still kicking in our own money. We have a slow but growing group of loyal customers. We’ll look for another location in the area. Nothing fancy or glitzy. Just enough.”

I forgot to mention the Chapman’s have four kids: Hannah (9), Graham (6), Rachel (4), and Penelope (who just turned 1).

14 comments on “Chapman Chile House in Peril

  1. The city can’t fund road repairs or pay teachers what they’re worth, but they can cover this kind of foolishness? Very sad. I hope the Chapmans can get through this. I plan to buy some chili.

  2. Chapman’s Chili Kitchen is one of the best “finds” in Old East Dallas in recent years. They have the best baked stuffed jalapenos around town. It would be worth a trip to the Farmers Market to buy the jalapenos to take home. I hope that they find a better location and a better landlord in East Dallas.

  3. I am so sad to hear this. I agree that the stuffed jalapenos are the best in town….enjoy some and see for yourself!

  4. …the jalapenos are great and so is the chili…somethings just are not right or fair…i say name the slumlord…

  5. I am one of the loyal customers to Chapman’s. They are great hard working people. Please don’t let this restaurant get away. Yes it is small but people need to know about it and support it.

  6. So why can the city be so aggressive cracking down on so-called problems like these, but can’t shut down the bars that are open illegally on Lower Greenville? It’s stunning how the city continues to shoot itself in the foot over and over, squashing things that are good for the city, and ignoring things that aren’t. Disgusting.

  7. Had frito chili pie there today. Most excellent. Just wish I could have had a Lone Star to go with it.

  8. “hy can the city be so aggressive cracking down on so-called problems like these, but can’t shut down the bars that are open illegally on Lower Greenville?”

    they’re going after the low hanging fruit and don’t want to tackle the illegal bars

  9. Went for my maiden voyage Tuesday – loaded up on frito pie, 32 oz. spicy chili, take and bake jalapenos, and wings. Have had some every day! Great place and great people.

  10. The Green Spot’s market, White Rock Local Market, seems to still be up and running according to their site. Was just this particular vendor shut off from the market for not having the proper permit? WRLM has more than just food vendors so I hope they keep it going until this is resolved. I’d hate to see other local, homegrown businesses suffer because someone didn’t have the proper permits.

    whiterocklocalmarket.com is where it shows that it’s still coming.

  11. I think Randal misunderstood me when I was telling him what had happend at Celebration Market. It has been discontinued due to the refrigeration issue, but as far as I know the Green Spot (whiterocklocalmarket.com)is still going strong. It’s a fantastic local market, but if I’m required to have “mechanical refrigeration” there I don’t know that I can continue to go. I hope everyone continues to support all of the vendors who are at the Green Spot!

  12. As I’ve stated in other post’s, the idiotic, illiterate, uneducated and ignorant morons who run the city of Dallas, do so because because they’re to stupid for any (legitimate) employment.