Pam's Too

BREAKFAST GUYS: Marvin Karki, owner of Cari's, is familiar with breakfast service and jumped at the chance to buy Pam's Too with business partner and longtime friend Mike Aryal. 

After 22 years of managing Pam’s Too, one of the most popular breakfast restaurants in the Acton/Granbury area, owners Maxine and David “Frog” Keller have finally decided to hang up their aprons and retire from the 29-year-old restaurant.

The decision did not come lightly, as Maxine had been wanting to retire since 2008.

“We love the business, but it’s a seven-day-a-week job. And we’re tired,” Maxine had said, in an article in the Dec. 13, 2008 edition of the Hood County News.

Maxine had managed the restaurant since it first opened in 1993, and acquired ownership in 1999.

In November, current co-owner Marvin Karki purchased Pam’s Too from the Kellers with his business partner and longtime friend, Mike Aryal.

Karki, who used to be a schoolteacher in Nepal, was already the owner of Beacon Café on Beach in Keller and had recently purchased Cari’s restaurant earlier this year, located at 2113 E. U.S. Highway 377 in Granbury.

Upon hearing that Maxine and Frog wanted to retire, Karki jumped at the opportunity to purchase Pam’s Too, as he already had the same customer base at Cari’s.

“I like the area a lot, and of course, I’m a restaurant guy, especially breakfast and my habit is, I always go to a breakfast restaurant to eat — that would be my first thing to do usually,” Karki said. “Two or three days they (the customers) go here (to Pam’s Too) and then maybe one or two days the customers go over there (to Cari’s). For me, it makes more sense to buy both and plus, employees. I need some, I have some here and I can send them. If they're needed here, I can send them and plus, it’s only three miles away.”

Karki said he loves the fact that Pam’s Too is community-based, as the breakfast restaurant is famous for its Wall of Honor — a collection of photographs covering all four walls depicting veterans who have served in a branch of the United States Armed Forces.

“Most of the people who come here are local and their family member is here somewhere. It’s a huge thing for people. Two of my cousins are in the Army and my dad back home, he was Army too, so I can relate how important it is,” Karki said. “Every restaurant has its niche. This should be the niche for this place. A lot of people asked me, ‘Oh, you bought it? What do you do with the pictures?’ I say, ‘If you want to take it off the wall, it will cost you $100,000,’ so that just means they'll stay on the wall.”

Maxine was afraid to sell Pam’s Too in 2008 because she didn’t want the iconic restaurant to change, especially if a new owner wanted to remove the Wall of Honor photos.

“I hope whoever buys the place will keep it like it is,” she said in the Dec. 13, 2008 article in the Hood County News. “We have some of the best customers in the world, and we just have so much fun.”

However, Karki said he currently has no plans to change anything in the restaurant — including the menu.

“I don’t have any goal to change anything here at all, and I really wish the same would continue to happen another 15-20 years, 30 years, you know, get my retirement and then somebody will take over from me,” he said. “I'm ready to just take over and continue what they're doing. If a customer wants something better, I'll try my best, but I wouldn't change anything, just continue to grow the same way. I told (the employees), ‘Don't feel like we're new owners. Feel like we are the same people.’ Happy customers mean happy business. Happy business means I'm happy.”

Pam’s Too is known for its gigantic pancakes — one of the more unique items on the menu.

“If you order one pancake, it's bigger than your plate. First time I come, usually I say, ‘Give me a pancake and bacon,’ and they asked me how many pancakes. I said, ‘Give me three.’ They didn't react or anything, but it can feed like five people,” Karki said, chuckling. “Maybe because I was new and they didn't know me. Now, if anybody orders two pancakes, they (the waitresses) say, ‘You can't eat it, just ask for one.’ That's very unique here.”

Other popular menu items include the Spanish omelet, New York steak, ribeye steak and catfish.

Pam’s Too is also one of the more reasonably priced breakfast restaurants in the Granbury and Acton area, which is especially popular with seniors.

“We charge $8.95 but with that $8.95 you get your drink, you get your dessert and you get your meal,” Karki said.

Many of the waitresses have been working at Pam’s Too for more than 15 years, and feel like they’re part of a family.

“This is a wonderful place to come because people love it,” Karki said. “They feel like (they’re eating) a home-cooked meal. Our customers, our waitresses, everybody we know, we treat them like (family) and (it feels like a) real home.”

Previously, Karki worked at a convenience store, but didn’t like the quick small talk that he would have with customers.

“Somebody enjoys movies, somebody enjoys sports, but for me, I enjoy business and customers. I enjoy the stories,” he said. “If there is just one guy or one girl (at Pam’s Too), I’ll go and join them if I'm free and talk about their stories, tell my stories. At the end of the day, they had their meal, they’re happy and I enjoyed doing that — that’s one of the things I love about the restaurant business.”

Pam’s Too is located at 5320 Acton Highway and is open from 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday.

“It just happened for us, you know?” Karki said, in reference to purchasing Pam’s Too. “It was not our plan, maybe not their (Maxine and Frog’s) plan. It's hard sometimes to manage, but if you cope with the environment, the people, their leadership and their quality, you should respect that. I worry if somebody else bought it and then if they don't keep the theme right, raise the menu price or if they only look at a business point of view. So, I’m going to take over and continue to serve whatever God brings.”

ashley@hcnews.com | 817-573-1243