The Moment

7|29|08: Fort Worth

The U.S. economic downturn has claimed another victim: Bennigan's Grill & Tavern, the 32-year-old chain of casual-dining fern bars. Amid sky-high gas and food prices and tightening consumer spending, the chain's Texas-based parent company declared bankruptcy July 29, saying it would shutter 150 eateries. While the franchise outlets remain open for now, Americans who want to peruse oversize menus for oversize portions of unremarkable food in unremarkable settings may soon have to check out Applebee's or Chili's. Or Ruby Tuesday or T.G.I. Friday's. Or the scores of other family-style restaurants serving deep-fried mozzarella sticks beneath hypnotically rotating ceiling fans.

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