No Friend of Mine

By: Mr. Wilson on May 20, 2009
I know I shouldn't feel this way about a locally-owned business, but I can't help but feel a tinge of schadenfreude any time something negative happens to Amigos. In this case, the Downtown Kopeli Coffee is closing. That follows last year's closing of the 33rd & Highway 2 Amigos et al. location. Why the enmity? Part of it has to do with what I perceive as a series of bizarre business and management decisions over the years. The chain has virtually no brand identity thanks to the gradual schizophrenic dilution from Lincoln's most popular Mexican fast food to Lincoln's most mocked place to get a burrito, donut, haircut, and oil change. Rather than focusing on what they were good at -- and Amigos was good at something, once -- they have tried to be mediocre at a lot of things. Sorry folks, success doesn't work that way. And to be honest, I'm still ticked about the disappearance of the candy ladies who used to walk around and socialize with diners. Anyway, thus ends another of my periodic "what happened to the Amigos of the good ol' days?" rants. Thanks for putting up with me.


See what your friends and neighbors have to say about this.

May 20, 2009 at 1:56PM

I had a very similar thought yesterday when I saw Matt’s blog about the closing of Kopeli downtown. I had this thought occur to me that we may be a handful of years away from a bunch of vacant former Amigos locations with their distinctive look. Even with the remodels, I don’t know if that is enough to save them. They expanded so fast once upon a time, and now they seem to be contracting at a good clip. I know some people still find them to be the bee’s knees, but I think the food is very average and the price is above average. Not a good combination.

My philosophy is that in business, you should do one thing and do it well - better than anyone else if you can. It’s kind of sad to see, but at the same time, I won’t shed a tear if they continue to disappear due to stupid decisions. It looks to me like grasping at straws to try any latest fad and be all things to all people.

May 20, 2009 at 2:15PM

Now that you mention it, I miss the candy ladies as well. I don’t mind that they sell donuts, but the rest of the stuff is kind of silly. I don’t think Kopeli’s really did all that much marketing either. I work pretty close to there (not in the parking lot, Mr. T), and I’ve never really found reason to go in there instead of my usual choice, The Coffee House.

May 20, 2009 at 2:29PM

A tip for you all.  The crisp meat burritos are made from the leavings from the previous day and are absolutely disgusting to make as I was told from a former employee.  The crisp chicken burritos are very safe and delicious.

May 20, 2009 at 3:07PM

They are arrogant enough (IMHO) to think they can just slap something up there and make it work. Why advertise? Why bother marketing?

Mr. Wilson
May 20, 2009 at 3:14PM

Mmmm, day-old leavings. ::drool::

May 20, 2009 at 3:44PM

Yeah, I’m not sure what’s wrong with that either.

May 20, 2009 at 3:52PM

way back when Amigos had a chicken chimichanga that was awesome. it was their sunday special and we used to get it all of the time. i also remember when each restaurant had a public relations person on site. i don’t know what the job exactly was but that’s what it said on their name tag.

May 20, 2009 at 3:54PM

Wrap them in bacon for an extra tasty treat. It’s not just good - it’s good for ya!

May 20, 2009 at 8:34PM

I’ve tried to go twice to work on freelance and never had a place to sit.  Kind of surprising to me so I have no opinion on if their coffee was even worth a crap.

Eric S
May 21, 2009 at 12:57AM

To me Amigos is ... schmigos. Why? I dunno. Probably because the only time I eat there is when I’m slightly intoxicated, and would come up with stupid names like that.

Anyways, the main reason I like/love them is that they are the only place I can dip my burrito is some tasty Dorthy Lynch.

What do I pay for this convience? At least one item is missing EVERY time I order through the drive through.

Oh well…nothing better I would rather grease my intestines with.

May 21, 2009 at 1:00AM

Since we’re talking about horrible inauthentic Mexican food ... avoid the Taco Bell on 27th & Cornhusker at all costs.  They always get my order wrong AND it takes 15 minutes whether they’re busy or not.

Yet I still go cause I need a fix from time to time and there’s not another one near here ... do as I say, not as I do!  😊

May 21, 2009 at 1:09PM

A coworker in my former department referred to it as Schmigos, or simply “Smeegs.”

May 21, 2009 at 4:10PM

I remember seeing employees at this Taco Bell report to work without a shirt on. Classy.

The Taco Bell on South 27th (Pine Lake) is equally horrible. What is it with this chain?

Amigos? Meh! I don’t hate them, but I don’t love them either.

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