KVUE — Some of the witty sayings that have appeared on a marquee sign outside El Arroyo in downtown Austin may 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.
The weathered sign sits near the corner of Fifth and Campbell streets outside the restaurant. Winstanley and a partner bought the Tex-Mex restaurant, which opened in 1975, in 2012. He said he believed the sign had been up since 1988 when the previous owners purchased El Arroyo.
Ellis said their most popular saying received more than 6.5 million views and 25,000 likes on Facebook. It went up the day after a 2016 presidential debate: "Is your refrigerator running? Because I might vote for it."
He also remembered the most controversial sign, which 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?"
Coming up with the different sayings that go on the El Arroyo sign requires owners and staffers to constantly think of new content. Winstanley said they revised the approval process a couple of years ago. Since then, they haven't received any complaints about what's on the sign.
"We just hear constantly that people love the sign, that it's a highlight of their morning commute," Winstanley said.
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