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Defunct Historic Houston Restaurants


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On the Border was started by a Dallas family. The entire family were flying to Santa Fe, NM when their small plane crashed killing them all. Some restaurant chain ended up with the restaurants and they are all over Texas and the southwest U.S. They have them all over the DFW metropldex.

They are now in 37 states....

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Yes there was a Gaido's on S. Main it was right across the street from Playland Park. I know this because my parents house was almost right behind it. But no it didn't have a shrimp with 6 shooters that was Kapan's at S. Main & Kirby. Gaido's had a huge crab on the top of their building.

You're right about the big crab, but I also remember the big shrimp being at Gaido's, not Kaphan's. I went looking and found this. It says the photo was taken in 2008, but that is the date of the upload, not when it was taken. This was taken long ago.

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Does anyone remember Emiliano's. If I recall--- this had to be the mid to late 70s and the location was in the old Memorial City Mall.

Emiliano's served Mexican Food but was set up basically like a dinner theatre with a large stage. There was always live music going on during the dinner--- something you don't see that much of anymore...

I was a tiny kid, but remember the food, the almost night-club environment and the waiters in tuxes promising ice cream if I could just make it through the singer's shrill rendition of "Torn Between Two Lovers"....

the place used to be really packed, but I don't think it lasted into the 80s. If I remember correctly, that space became the Luby's in Memorial City Mall.

Am I just imagining this place?

Edited by Gary_Wayne_Diablo
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My wife and I loved Emiliano's for several reasons. First the food - although owned by Pancho's it was really good and different from most in the area at that time. There were several dishes that I really miss to this day. Also the margaritas were excellent, at least in my memory, which may have been clouded by those same margaritas.... second, the house band was Larry and Marilyn and the Brass Connection, featuring Alonzo Alonzo on drums... the son of the founders of the band Alonzo y sus Rancheros (I blelive that's the name) mentioned in other threads about music in the area. Marylin had about a four octave range and could sing the h*** out of "Bobbie McGee". One of my friends worked for Larry and we got to go to a recording session one night at Gilley's studio. And he got us past the waiting crowds several times. : ) I think Marilyn is now a big deal real estate agent in theSW but the band may still be performing..... Lastly, the people watching....many fairly recognizable faces could be seen there, including one local female tv reporter who seemed to always be there enjoying *several* of those margaritas...... still miss the place. Good times, good times......

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You're right about the big crab, but I also remember the big shrimp being at Gaido's, not Kaphan's. I went looking and found this. It says the photo was taken in 2008, but that is the date of the upload, not when it was taken. This was taken long ago.

After reading all the way threw this thread I found out it was Christie's not Kaphan's that had the shrimp with the 6 shooters (my bad) but Christie's was just down a little south on S.Main from Gaido's so maybe your drunk friend started at Gaido's and wondered down to Christie's.

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OK here goes maybe long.

60's

Alfred's on Rice.

Prince's Drive in

Stuart's drive in

Lee's Den S. Main

Wynn's Grocery & Bar-B-que S.Main

Vailian's S. Main for the pizza

Don's Seafood

Giado's S.Main & Galveston

Jimmy Walkers Kemah we used to drive my dad's cabin cruiser from Seabrook Shipyard down and tie it off at the pier outside. We would get a table to look out at the bay and keep an eye on the boat at the same time.

Chuck Wagon on Post Oak close to Willowbend. I never ate onion rings but theirs looked & smelled so good I had to try them never have had any as good since. Building was shaped like a chuck wagon.

Christie's Seafood S.Main in a old Boat

The PolyAsian on S. Main all tho I never ate there. It was between Buffalo Speedway and Murworth Dr.. They had a very long driveway that was lined with tiki lamps. By the time I was old enough to take myself there it was gone.

Spainish Village on OST/S.Main. My best friend's dad owned the place and he and I would help make palines in the back of the restaurant. His dad was the 1st in Houston to have a puffed taco machine, it puffed them then cooked them. My friend told ne his dad invented and had it built, but then again that may have been a bunch of bull.

One's a meal on Main close to the old Sears store. Summer of 67 me and my best friend practically lived there, well after midnight anyways.

Howard Johnson's Ice Cream on Belliare Blvd. was across the street from the YMCA. There was a huge building on the back of the property where they made and packaged ice cream to ship all over the US. I believe it was their head quarters for a while.

The Cellar Door

Price's Hamburgers .19 cents (the secret sauce?) on Belliare Blvd. & Stella Link.

Someburger in The Village

70's

Los Troncos

Natural Child off Montrose a vegetarian restaurant lots of hippies ate there. Me and my roommate at the time both worked there he a chef me the dish washer/bus boy.

The Happy Budda on Westheimer

The Family Hand a huge bicker hangout in the late 60s. I almost got shot there one night when 2 bikers drew down on each other and started shootin.

Taco Bell on S.Shepherd when it 1st opened they were great I wouldn't eat there today their (so called) beef sucks compared to when they 1st started.

Submachine on S. Shepherd across the street from Battlestien's. Who ever started Subway ate there 1st because everything Subway did in the beginning was something Submachine did. Cook their own breads, the counter you walked up to pick out your sandwich ingredients, how they used to cut the tops out of the loafs of bread to put the ingredients into, the interior design. Only thing different in the 2 was Submachine was way better than any Subway I've been to. This place made Antone's look minor league.

Cheh Orleans on Westhiemer at Drexel a long time up shale steak place. Great date place.

Antone's S.Main and the one on Voss

Yamin's on Hillcroft south of Westiemer they made an awesome muffaletta sandwich, one sandwich could feed 8 people.

Alfred's on Stella Link on Tuesday nights they had a all you could eat smorgasbord, I remember one night my wife now my ex came out and once outside she had to unbuckle here pants she looked 5 months pregnant. She said to me "I'm so full but I still want to eat some more my stomach is full but my mouth is still hungry I didn't even get out of the salad section".

Steak & Ale on Memorial east of Westscott. My ex-wife stole an entire place setting from there one night everything on the table ended up in her purse. She was quite intoxicated.

also the Steak & Ale on the Shephard/Farnham curve.

The donut place that was in an old Der Wienerschnitzel on Gessner south of Long Point owned by an Asian lady that made the most awesome Vietnamese egg rolls, you couldn't eat just 6.

I believe it was Tommie's Chinese (probably not) on the south side of Memorial between Dairy Ashford & Winter Oak Dr.

The Bar-b-que joint in the strip center at the corner of Memorial and Kirkwood northwest corner. They made the best links I ever have eaten

The Pie house or factory on the north side of Westheimer I think not to far from Fonderen.

St. Michel

Ches Orleans on the north side Westhiemer & between Drexel Dr. & the railroad track. Great steaks and great date place.

La Hacienda de los Morales

The Mason Jar (may still be open).

80s

Bay Street - Seafood restaurant chain owned by the Steak & Ale corp.

Tony Romo's Ribs the chain has great ribs all kind of ribs.

90s

The Greek restaurant that used to be on the corner of Westiemer & Gessner where they sang/danced/&broke plates.

2000's

I lived in Houston from April 1999 to Oct. 2001 this list is of my favorite restaurants when I lived there, many of these I'm sure are still opened. We lived off 290 and 6.

The Japanese all you can eat Shusi restaurant on 1960 in front of Willow Brook Mall the name started with a K in 2000 it was 21 bucks a person and worth every penny.

Chinese buffet at the southwest corner of 6 and Clay Rd.

Burger King at 6 & Longenbaugh

All you can eat Itialian buffet that was on 6 across the street form Sears hardware/garden.

Capt. something that was a Seafood joint that the building was a boat they had one on 1960 and on I-10. They served cajun seafood as well as fried fish and raw oysters.

Edited by blue92
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My wife and I loved Emiliano's for several reasons. First the food - although owned by Pancho's it was really good and different from most in the area at that time. There were several dishes that I really miss to this day. Also the margaritas were excellent, at least in my memory, which may have been clouded by those same margaritas.... second, the house band was Larry and Marilyn and the Brass Connection, featuring Alonzo Alonzo on drums... the son of the founders of the band Alonzo y sus Rancheros (I blelive that's the name) mentioned in other threads about music in the area. Marylin had about a four octave range and could sing the h*** out of "Bobbie McGee". One of my friends worked for Larry and we got to go to a recording session one night at Gilley's studio. And he got us past the waiting crowds several times. : ) I think Marilyn is now a big deal real estate agent in theSW but the band may still be performing..... Lastly, the people watching....many fairly recognizable faces could be seen there, including one local female tv reporter who seemed to always be there enjoying *several* of those margaritas...... still miss the place. Good times, good times......

That's the place... and the music!! thanks for your post--- that ties some memories together for sure!

Was I right about the location--- was it in the Memorial City Mall?

Seems weird that it was gone so quickly having been such a 'hot spot' at one time--- I'm guessing it was the early 80s when it disappeared...

Edited by Gary_Wayne_Diablo
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  • 1 month later...

Capt. something that was a Seafood joint that the building was a boat they had one on 1960 and on I-10. They served cajun seafood as well as fried fish and raw oysters.

Cap't. Benny's? Seems like I remember one being on I-10 just west of the West Loop. There was also one near the Medical Center & on the Southwest Freeway at Stafford. Are any of them still around?

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The one on I-10 is long gone; squeezed between the railroad tracks and the frontage road, it became something else - non restaurant related as I remember - for a while before disappearing in the face of the expanding freeway. I think that one was actually a Capt's Table Oyster Bar or something, the different name a result of a split in the family as I was told. The one at 59 @ Murphy/Wilcrest/FM 1092 moved down 1092 about half a mile and is still going strong. That move was necessitated by the widening of the freeway.

The location on 1960 was originally a Capt. Benny's. Benny Heileman (? - Heineman?) gave a couple of businessmen a franchise of sorts as I understand, but they had never operated a restaurant before and didn't do well. It was sold to the manager of the Stafford Capt. Benny's whose name was Tom and it became the first Capt. Tom's.

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  • 5 months later...

Tokyo Gardens founder Hisako Gondo passed away in San Diego earlier this month at the age of 94. An obituary ran in the Chronicle yesterday:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=hisako-gondo&pid=157255647

The family (or some members of it) apparently still runs a catering business, Tokyo Gardens Catering, that is based near Blalock and Westview, but I was unable to find much information about it online.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I can't believe I just found this thread. Here goes: (sorry for the bad spelling)

Panjos on Memorial and Dairy Ashford

Mason Jar on I-10

Vargo's (Voss?)

Strawberry Patch on Westheimer

Velvet Turtle (SW Freeway?)

Romanos Town and Country - Sundays after church

Cliff's Hamburgers in Katy (when it was just rice farms and geese)

Jame's Coney Island (the old, old one in Town and Country)

Orange Julius

Piccadilly Cafeteria in the old Memorial City Mall

York Steak House (also in Memorial City Mall)

Pino's (the owner always came by to say hello, the original was by UofH, my parents went there when they were in college)

Butera's

The Black Angus

The diner in the downtown Foley's (every Christmas Eve before seeing Santa)

Patio House on Memorial Drive

Rainbow Lodge (senior prom)

Old Spaghetti Warehouse by UofH on the Bayou (every birthday, always sat in the trolley car)

I could go on forever. I lived in Houston from '64 to '82.

Anyone remember Peppermint Park on 610?

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

The name of that pancake place was "Uncle John's Pancake House."

As a kid, I lived there from 1961 till 1967. My dad owned the 2 Mobil service stations, OST & Tierwester, and OST & Scott. This was an epicenter of activity in Houston at the time.

This is a list of some of the businesses around there I can recall at the moment:

Cellar Door Restaurant

Frontier Restaurant

Chuck Davis Chevrolet

Mosehart & Keller Ford

Art Grindle Chrysler Plymouth Dodge

Uncle John's Pancake House

Piggly Wiggly

Nabisco

Houston Fruit Stand

Trail Drive-In

Paris Theater

Princes Hamburger

TSU

UH

Do these jog any memories?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Uncle John's Pancake House was a California-based franchise restaurant chain. I don't doubt the one on O.S.T. was locally owned but it was definitely part of a franchise operation.

There was a One's A Meal in the Braeswood Center on Holcombe at Greenbriar, we used to eat there often when I was growing up in the 50s.

The Chuck Davis jingle came from an old ragtime song, Ja-Da (Ja-Da Jing Jing Jing).

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  • 3 months later...

I just unpacked these 70 vintage matchbooks from my late parents' stuff. Mostly Houston area restaurants of the 1950s and 1960s, but also some Houston hotels, oil industry service companie, and some great Bellaire businesses. There are another 80 or so from all over Texas and some international and other US states - I'll post a pic of these after I take it.

 

I sob a little just looking at the Valian's matches, and Kaphan's, and Pier 21, and Safari, and...

 

post-2393-0-33329600-1360276919_thumb.jp

 

post-2393-0-24477900-1360277139_thumb.jp

 

Edited by IHB2
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There was a One's a Meal in the Bellaire Triangle  shopping center and also one next to the Delman theatre across from Sears.  Sad day when Cellar Doors were gone, last one I believe was on Stella Link and Bellaire...

 

Either the Ones A Meal or the Dobbs House is today Bellaire Broiler Burger. I can't remember which one it was, but maybe it was both. I grew up a couple of blocks from there from the late 40s-late 60s.

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In that same area ( within a half mile) at various times was a Prince's Drive In, Ding How Chinese take out, Kip's Big Boy, Griff's Hamburgers, Dunkin'  Donuts, Foote's Cafeteria, Mr. Hamburger, Chuck Wagon, Madding's and Duggan's Drug Store fountains, Hickory Pit BBQ, Shakey's Pizza, and there was also a small Mexican place near the intersection of Bellaire and Bissonett just east of Broiler Burger and Bert Wheeler's that I cannot remember the name of to save my life...

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In that same area ( within a half mile) at various times was a Prince's Drive In, Ding How Chinese take out, Kip's Big Boy, Griff's Hamburgers, Dunkin'  Donuts, Foote's Cafeteria, Mr. Hamburger, Chuck Wagon, Madding's and Duggan's Drug Store fountains, Hickory Pit BBQ, Shakey's Pizza, and there was also a small Mexican place near the intersection of Bellaire and Bissonett just east of Broiler Burger and Bert Wheeler's that I cannot remember the name of to save my life...

 

 

Also Finer's Drug Store in the low brick bldg on the corner of Mapleridge (7th St) & Bissonnet, across Mapleridge from the Bellaire Goodyear store (today it's a Libreria). And for a short time a Valian's takeout Bissonnet at Rice.

 

Felix had a restaurant that today is the Brisket House at Bissonnet and Bellaire, which originally was a "circle" intersection (and Bissonnet was called Old Richmond Road all the way through Bellaire and West U to the curve at Edloe.

 

The fried burgers and fountain drinks at Dugan's counter were spectacular - at least in my preteen critique.

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Thanks IHB2 I thought that the Felix was in that brick building but wasn't sure...it had many incarnations.  Buddies  and I would catch the bus in front of the Sears Catalog store and Wagners Hardware to go downtown for movies at one of the big 3--Metropolitan, Majestic, or Lowes then go to the Linoleum Club at James Coney Island for Lunch. Simpler times and trusting parents...They had some pretty good burgers at Anderson's Pharmacy near Bissonet and Avenue B just north of some apartments next to the vets and the Midget Market...also remember the 3--33 cent banana split promotions( pick a banana and the price was on the skin between 3 and 33 cents).  That area was my stompin grounds mid 50s to going off to college in the late 60s...Feld Park, Evergreen pool, Abercromie Fields...

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Would anyone have pictures of or know where Sybil Leek’s Cauldron, restaurant circa 1970s, was located in Rice Village (Houston, Tx)? I'm aware it was first located where Charlies used to be which I believe was 611 Hyde Park Boulevard, Houston, TX., then moved to Rice Village.

 

If I remember correctly, it was where the childrens section of Half Price Books is now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone recall the Red Barn Fried Chicken?  Do you know where it was and if it was part of the Red Barn hamburger chain that was all around the country?  (most of their locations were in barn-like structures but I think the Houston location was in a strip mall)

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Not sure which Ranger Drive-In you remember, but the Ranger I remember was at Telephone Road and Holmes Road behind Gulfgate.  A long way north of Hobby.

 

That was long before the South Loop cut through on the Holmes Road footprint and blew out a lot of businesses that had been there a long time.

 

As I recall, the Ranger had the hottest car-hops on that end of Houston.

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Not sure which Ranger Drive-In you remember, but the Ranger I remember was at Telephone Road and Holmes Road behind Gulfgate.  A long way north of Hobby.

 

That was long before the South Loop cut through on the Holmes Road footprint and blew out a lot of businesses that had been there a long time.

 

As I recall, the Ranger had the hottest car-hops on that end of Houston.

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Original Timmy Chans.................

 

Original Timmy Chans was on Fannin past McGowen. You walked up steep steps to the restaurant on the  2nd floor. After it closed Dan McCluskey's Steak House took over the spot. Ate many lunches at Timmy Chan's when I worked downtown in the 70's and 80's.

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Not sure which Ranger Drive-In you remember, but the Ranger I remember was at Telephone Road and Holmes Road behind Gulfgate.  A long way north of Hobby.

 

That was long before the South Loop cut through on the Holmes Road footprint and blew out a lot of businesses that had been there a long time.

 

As I recall, the Ranger had the hottest car-hops on that end of Houston.

 

This one was between Airport and Bellfort on the west side of Telephone. Building is still there, I think its a used car lot now. We used to drive all the way from Friendswood for a Coke.... 

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I remember the Champs places. Worked at the one on 290 and Bingle, and the I45 and Dyna. Used to go eat at Jojos. they had good steaks. Pizza Inn ( i think it was off bingle) had a good buffet. Sals pizza off 290 was good too. I would get hamburgers at Charlies. The Del Taco somewhere near Dacoma and Mangum area were good fast food.Used to eat at Lubys on 290 at Grow lane. So many good food places have come and gone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I lived in Montrose late 70's late 80's and just have to chime in as I have fond memories of several restaurants including:

 

The Stable's on Westheimer near Lamar School,

Courtlandts on Louisiana

Polo's on Post Oak

Baba Yega's off Montrose

Frenchies Chicken on Shepherd

I can't remember the name of the Empanada place on lower Westheimer.

The House of Pie's on Kirby

Mont St Michel

Old Chicago Pizza

The Brisket House near Downtown

and yea...............New Orleans Poboys on South Main, gave me my poboy fix from back home, mmmmmm

 

Great memories

Edited by fla_TIGER
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  • 5 months later...

1500 block, south side, between Windsor and Ridgewood. Looks like on Google it would've been 1513. The bungalow next door was a hippie ice cream shop as I recall.

 

According to their website, it was 1517.

 

http://www.theoriginalmarinisempanadahouse.com/aboutus.html

 

I couldn't find any pics of the original location online, except for the way-too-tiny one on their website. The interior was really something to behold - almost every available surface was covered with graffiti left by customers. Always wondered how and when that became a tradition, as it was already well-established by the time I started going there in 1981-82.

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  • 2 months later...

Downtown on the corner of Main and Bell was the Simpsons Dinning car. It has long been closed and last I knew of, it had been moved out on Westheimer. Can't remember now just how far out it was moved and I do not know if it ever reopened again. Also as a kid I remember the Price's Hamburger place on the south west corner of Shepherd and Washington Ave. They had 19 cent hamburgers, 12 cent fries, and 5 cent Cokes. The burgers were great and the prices right. Also there was Phil's café on the corner of Richmond and Mandell. Phil's later moved over to Shepherd between Norfolk and Portsmouth where the What A Burger is now located. 

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I miss that drive threw only burger place, and they where cheap, but the BEST! Does anyone remember? I think they had like 3 around Uptown-Westchase... I remember the color yellow, there where generally in parking lots, ONLY drive threw...

and CHECKERS!!! They had the BEST fries!!

Cinco De Mayo on Holzworth (It burned down to the ground)

 

Checkers is coming back to Houston. A new Franchisee will be opening some soon. It was announced in the Houston Business Journal this week.

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