RICHARDSON, Texas — A spokesperson with Pappas Restaurants has confirmed the chain, which runs Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Pappasito's and other restaurants, has purchased the historic Como Motel in Richardson.
Christina Pappas, Pappas Restaurants director of marketing, wrote in an email Tuesday that the chain had closed on the property. The Como Hotel has recently had a large group petitioning to preserve it, fearing its demolition.
"Our primary goal in purchasing the property is to make the area more secure for the safety of our guests, team members, and neighbors," Pappas said in the statement. "We have yet to formalize any plans for development or demolition and are interested in hearing proposals for developing the property."
The Como Motel off US Highway 75 is an iconic roadside motel built in 1956 that could be demolished. The motel was once a fixture off the once two-lane highway.
A group, Save the Como, had started a petition to save the motel with more than 4,800 signatures.
Lindsay Sherritt helps run it.
"I’ve said this whole time there's hope, and there still is," she told WFAA Monday. "There is still hope today."
Sherritt said she originally feared Pappas would demolish the motel for parking. But then, she says, she had a discussion with members of the Pappas family.
"And he said the Como has not been a good neighbor to us," Sherritt explained.
"And I told him that I agreed. In its current state, the Como was not the best neighbor in its current state. It attracted guests that I guess that Pappas didn’t love having next door."
Sherritt said her group hopes to help the Pappas group come up with ways to restore the motel to make it a good neighbor without tearing it down.
A description of Save the Como's petition reads, "We urge a reconsideration of the plans for demolishing the Como Motel and instead support exploring options for preserving this important landmark. This could include innovatively renovating the property or designating it a historical landmark."
The Como has its share of notoriety; both good and bad. Captain Sully Sullenberger once stayed there as a boy. Candy Montgomery and Allan Gore had their infamous affair at the motel.
"This is one of a kind. It's cool, it's vintage, and it still has a place and a purpose," said Sherritt. "It's the first motel in Richardson and the last motel. You just have to clean it up and give it new life."