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Sign above the door leading to Pasquale's
"Then, when we would finally change, we'd find out we were still behind everybody else in Jackson. That's what made the decision to retire so difficult," he said. "We had the greatest customers in the world."
Harn's basis for such a grand statement is solid: "Never once, in 28 years of business, did we have an 'incident,'. We never had a break-in, an attempted break-in, glass breakage (when our whole store front was glass), or any kind of incident on our part of the shopping center parking lot."
"We basically pulled from the same fine families families that came in from day one," he added. "Children who went to school at Murrah and Callaway came in, and years later they brought in their children and grandchildren."
'What you start with'
"The type of people who came in were nice and respectful, and that's the way we treated them. We were always very nice, but we were also very firm.
"We didn't allow any hang-arounds, and that's something else we started from day one. You live with what you start with."
Of all the memories from 28 years of business, business, Albert Harn said something that happened happened just a year or so ago sticks out: His wife tricked him into taking a phone order across the street to Tiffany's Cabaret.
He said rumors are true that many female employees at Tiffany's wear little clothing.
"I've never been so embarrassed in my life," Harn, a rock-steady church member, said, laughing. "And I never got out of a place so fast in my life."
While retirement is good, Harn said, he misses the business. Separating the people from the restaurants is impossible, he said.
"The two went hand in hand. The people were our business. We thrived on our customers, and that's the part we miss the most."
That and the food. The Harns never tired of their own food. They never were tempted to slip off somewhere for a quick burger or chicken leg. What they cooked was what they ate.
"We ate that food every day for 28 years, and we loved it," he said. "As a matter of fact, I'd love to have some right now."
Wouldn't we all?
Mississippi Retro Apparel are wearable flashbacks from years gone by.
They are for the crowd that knew the bars, clubs, restaurants and music of the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. They are reminders of the best of times spent with family and friends at the best places, those places, back then.
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Under most circumstances, the closing of a restaurant is no major story except, of course, to the people involved in it.
When a landmark shuts down, however, that's another matter altogether.
Albert and Mary Nell Harn are not exactly in good graces with a lot of Jackson area diners these days. They shut down a landmark.
Back on Feb. 28, they closed the doors to Pas-quales and El Burrito the two-in-one restaurant they operated for 28 years in the North-wood Shopping Center (across North State Street from Primos Northgate).
Albert Harn said it was "the most difficult thing we've ever had to do." But it was time for retirement; time for their grandchildren.
While the Harns' innumerable friends are happy for them, there are still almost daily reminders reminders that they are missed.
Calling up in tears
"We can't go anywhere without somebody getting all over us," he said recently. "We've had people calling up, crying, wanting to know what their grandchildren were going to do. It's all been very moving, and Mary Nell and I appreciate appreciate it."
The restaurants were strictly a partnership for the couple together, now, for 46 years. Albert ran Pasquales; Mary Nell ran El Burrito.
Many of their customers during the final years of operation were third-generation customers. The couple had sold pizza and tacos to their parents and their grandparents.
Albert Harn said as near as he could figure, their success was because of three things: "We tried to treat everyone nice, we turned out good food and we kept the prices as low as we possibly could.
"There were times when we went as long as four years without a price change."
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Joint advertisement for El Burritto and Pasquale's
El Burrito - Jackson
Customers Cry After Retirees Close Landmark Eateries
Originally printed in The Clarion Ledger on June 4, 1993
El Burritto menu
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