El Arroyo's signs may make you flip the page in new book

Behind El Arroyo's famous signs

AUSTIN - Some of the witty sayings that have appeared on a marquee sign outside El Arroyo's in downtown Austin, may soon end up in a book. 

Co-owner, Ellis Winstanley, said if talks with publishers go well, the top 100 quotes of 2016 will end up in a collection and be ready for sale just in time for the holidays.

"We just hear constantly that people love the sign, that it's a highlight of their morning commute," Winstanley said.

The weathered sign sits near the corner of 5th and Campbell streets outside the restaurant. Winstanley and a partner bought the Tex-Mex restaurant in 2012, which first opened in 1975. Ellis said he believed the sign had been up since 1988 when the previous owners purchased El Arroyo.

While many, like Elisha Smith, see the sign every day, most see the sayings on Facebook.

"Almost every time I see it, it makes me laugh," said Smith.

Ellis says their most popular saying received more than six and a half million views and 25,000 likes on Facebook. It went up the day after the second presidential debate.

"Is your refrigerator running? Cause I might vote for it," Winstanley said.

 

 

He also remembered the most controversial sign that launched an international attack on El Arroyo's Facebook page by a vegan group in England.

"If you care about the animals so much, why are you eating all their food?" Winstanley recalled.

Coming up with the different sayings that go on the El Arroyo sign requires owners and staffers constantly thinking of new content. Winstanley said they revised the way they approve what is picked a couple of years ago. Since then, they haven't received any more complaints about what's on the sign.

"It's just something you take for granted. I always look at it, and you don't realize until afterward. You'll have a little talk in the car about it once or twice a week, so it's definitely a part of your life. You don't even realize it's happening," said Trever Cannon, 23, who recently moved to Austin.

He also said the signs are a good representation of Austin.

"The reason I think it's so iconic to Austin because it represents the casual fun of Austin - like the speed of Austin seems a little slower than a lot of other cities. It's just fun and down to earth," said Cannon.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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