With little fanfare, a Fort Worth institution closed two weeks ago.
The two elderly sisters who operated Fina's Tortilla Factory at 3432 Hemphill St. called it quits -- more than 60 years after their mother opened the takeout eatery famous for homemade tamales and tortillas made from corn, prepared and ground on the site.
"I'm 76 years old and had breast cancer two years ago, and my older sister Lupe [Campos] is 81," said Josefina "Fina" Gallegos, after whom the tamale shop was named by their mother, Catalina "Kate" Gallegos.
The building has been sold, and the sisters are selling the equipment. Josefina Gallegos said the building will likely be demolished.
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When word spread that Fina's was closing, customers traveled from as far away as Dallas and Corpus Christi for a supply of pork tamales, priced $8.66 a dozen with tax, or five dozen signature corn tortillas for $2.50, Gallego said. "Many were crying. I'm not making this up. They were a great support when I went through my cancer treatment."
"I'm going to take it easy -- and go to WinStar [Casino in Oklahoma] and play the penny and nickel [slot] machines."
Aquarium featured on show
Animal Planet viewers that tune in to Tanked at 8 p.m. Friday will see the work of Fort Worth general contractor G.L. Barron Co. The show features a segment on a 75,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, built by Barron, that greets 7,500 worshippers weekly at the Inspiring Body of Christ Church in Dallas.
G.L. Barron Co. specializes in worship facilities. The aquarium was part of a $40 million, 176,000-square-foot worship facility that is the cornerstone of the 36-acre IBOC campus at 7701 S. Westmoreland Road.
Rickie Rush, the church's pastor, wanted an aquarium, but it was Greg Barron, G.L. Barron's CEO, who turned the idea into a 90-foot aquarium that serves as the church's entryway.
The tank features more than 80 species of fish. Three full-time staff members care for the tank.
The aquarium, constructed along with the building, took two years to complete, the company said. Las Vegas-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing installed the tank.
Behind Door Number 3
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants more people to tour Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
He's hired Door Number 3, an Austin-based boutique branding agency, that has already launched the campaign, "Access Granted," to promote the VIP, self-guided, group and art tours.
"Of course, one of the biggest draws of Cowboys Stadium is the football field with the famous star at the 50-yard line," said MP Mueller, Door Number 3 president. "However, there's so much more to the magnificent facility than football. We're excited to introduce all that it has to offer to a much wider audience."
The initial campaign includes print and radio ads targeting the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
And in other Cowboys Stadium news, it was announced Wednesday that Holmes Smokehouse sausage will be sold exclusively at concession stands starting this football season.
Holmes, which makes a pecan-smoked sausage and a jalapeno-and-cheese blend created just for stadium sales, will be available at the Cowboys' first home game Sept. 26.
Between now and the game, Holmes said it will be visiting Dallas-Fort Worth grocery stores with its 21-foot mobile smokehouse trailer to start introducing the sausage to consumers. Holmes makes its sausages in Brenham.
"We are as passionate about our products as Cowboys fans are about football," said Holmes President Rodney Roth.
Eye on the ball
Count on a baseball guy to come up with the name RB Eye Foundation (RBI, get it?) for a vision awareness initiative.
Texas Christian University baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle and his wife, Kami, have established the foundation to generate funding for Fort Worth's Child Vision Center, a new, not-for-profit organization created to support patient care, testing and research into vision-threatening diseases in children. The center was founded by doctors Eric Packwood, Alan Norman and Michael Hunt, partners in Pediatric Eye Specialists.
"The Child Vision Center is in its infancy now, but Kami and I hope that with our support and that of the community, this will become a world-class center for pediatric eye research and diagnostics," Schlossnagle said in a statement. The couple's interest in eye care grew out of their own children's treatment by Packwood.
The RB Eye Foundation will kick off fundraising efforts with an Eye on the Ball event Oct. 15 at River Ranch in the Fort Worth Stockyards.
For more information, check out the foundation's website at www.rbeyefoundation.org.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727
Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808
Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718