Tumbleweed Tex Mex Grill & Margarita Bar

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Tumbleweed Tex Mex Grill & Margarita Bar
Industry Restaurants
Founded 1975 in New Albany, Indiana
Key people
Mathew Higgins President and CEO
Products Steak, chicken, and seafood cooked in a Southwest Mesquite style
Revenue $61 million (2006)
$60 million (2006)
Website Tumbleweed Tex Mex Grill & Margarita Bar

Tumbleweed Tex Mex Grill & Margarita Bar (formerly Tumbleweed Southwest Grill) is a chain restaurant based in Louisville, Kentucky The original location was in Louisville on Mellwood Avenue adjacent to the Fischer Packing Company plant. It had been a tavern frequented by the plant workers for many years before adding food service and occasional live music.


Tumbleweed Tex Mex Grill & Margarita Bar serves Southwest-style foods. The original restaurant opened in 1975 in New Albany, Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Louisville. George R. Keller and wife Linda started the chain across the road from New Albany High School. Then later in 1978 Linda would utilize her parents' Hillside Manor restaurant and bar to turn it into a Tumbleweed. This location in Louisville became the flagship for the restaurant chain.

Shortly after, the restaurant expanded to locations across the river. It now operates over 30 locations restaurants in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio,[1] including company-owned and franchise locations. Locations in Illinois and Wisconsin closed in 2008.

In 1995, the Kellers sold the business to sixty local area investors for US$9.8 million and an additional US$1 million in a clause not to compete against the company's new owners. The company then became a publicly traded company to help fuel its expansion in the Midwest and overseas markets. John Butorac, Jr., took over as president of the company, he was also the former vice president for Chi-Chi's.[2]

In 2002, Terrance Smith, CEO of the establishment, was seeking ownership of the company with two other investors.[3] However on December 18, 2007, it was reported by local media in Louisville that Terrance Smith resigned as President and CEO after seven years. Matthew Higgins is now the new President and CEO of the company, with his brother, Michael Higgins, as COO.[4] Tumbleweed is the parent company of the upscale southwestern concept known as Sedona Grill. After Terry Smith's departure, Tumbleweed closed the doors to the upscale theme.


An example of Queso.

Tumbleweed serves an American-Mexican cuisine in a combination Tex-Mex and Southwest style. They specialize in a chili con queso.[5] Tumbleweed's menu includes Continental food, encompassing such foods as chicken and steak. The other major style of cuisine is a Mexican-themed menu, including burritos, chimichangas, and a variety of house salads.


Tumbleweed has been expanding its market overseas with the following places.[6]