Somebody Help This Poor Boy: Dallas Restaurants With a Long, Stable History

Help this man. He's looking for answers. Pronto.

Man. I’ve just been posed with one of the more difficult questions I’ve encountered in these last two years on the job.

A balding gentleman asks, “How many Dallas restaurants—like New York Sub near SMU—have had the same location, same owner for 40 years or more?”

(Side note: New York Subs will be celebrating its 40th anniversary on Feb. 1, 2014. Ken Harkness is the happy owner.)


  • Everlasting Phelps

    Sonny Bryan’s on Inwood comes instantly to mind. Kellers on Northwest Highway. Kubys is just over 50.

  • sherman

    Mecca (even before recent move)
    El Fenix (Original)
    Mama’s Daughters (Original)

  • SDM

    Not sure about owners but Club Schmitz, Dunston’s, orig El Fenix. How long for Burger House? I believe Louie’s was almost 40 (35+).

  • Nancy Nichols

    Old Warsaw is the oldest in original location. Vincent’s Seafood (1898) is the oldest restaurant in Dallas, however they are not in their original location. Have you already been here two years?

  • Carol Shih

    Yes. I’m getting old.

  • Sampson

    Hands down…the Grape

  • AmyS

    Desperado’s and Prego’s, both on Greenville Ave.

  • AmyS

    Am I really the first to say Campisi’s?

  • Dan Koller

    I’m the bald — not balding, as the too-kind Carol put it — gentleman who posed the question. I know Mecca and Norma’s have not been owned by the same people for 40 years, because I’ve interviewed the current owners of both restaurants.

  • BradfordPearson

    Charco Broiler, maybe?

  • Josh Newton

    Maybe Barbec’s?

  • Cole Daugherty

    Same location, same owner really knocks down the options. Perhaps the Zodiac Room at N-M would qualify although N-M has changed hands. Nancy started a HUGE discussion in June 2010 about classic/long-gone restaurants–it was a joy to read then and now:

    • Nancy Nichols

      Oh, thanks. I love that thread.

  • Peter Kurilecz

    Dickey’s on Central?

    • Karla Neely

      Good one!

    • hkghotrod

      Yes, I remember going there the first time I lived in Dallas in 1974. And, they have not spent a dime on rehab either.

  • Margie Hubbard

    Barbec’s is not original owner.

  • clark

    Goff’s? S&D Oyster Company? The Spaghetti Warehouse?

  • Anonymous

    Bubba’s (1981), The Zodiac (1953), Pietro’s (1960), Adair’s (1963), St. Martin’s Wine Bistro (1977), Celebration (1971).

    • beda

      Pietro’s was originally where the Grape is now, so not original location on Richmond.

    • gmit

      Adairs was originally Cedar Springs and has changed owners in the last ten

  • Brandon Mohon

    Bubba’s (1981), The Zodiac (1953), Pietro’s (1960), Adair’s (1963), St. Martin’s Wine Bistro (1977), Celebration (1971).

  • Brandon Mohon

    Al’s Hamburgers in Arlington (1957)

  • Chris Moseley

    The Grape has had different owners.

  • Chris Moseley

    Keller’s opened in 1965.

  • Uppercase Matt

    Royal China — well, the current owner is the original owner’s son, which I figure is pretty close.

  • Jackson

    Harvey Gough sold Goff’s at least a decade ago, and it moved from Lovers and the Tollroad to Hillcrest. S&D isn’t yet 40 years old (it’s close; 38 this year), and the Spaghetti Warehouse chain has had several ownership changes, most recently in ’07.

  • Son of Dolemite

    Not sure of the owners, but Dakota’s has been around, and at the same location, for 30 or so years.

    I think the Pyramid Room has been around about 40 years

    • hkghotrod

      Yes, the Pyramid Room has been there over 40 years. Again, I went there first in 1974.

  • Bills

    Adairs has new owners in the last few years.
    Campisi’s going on 68 years this year with the same family.
    I’d love to see a state wide list of the oldest in Texas.

  • BBQsnob

    Big Al’s Smokehouse 1973
    Mesquite BBQ 1959
    Mac’s BBQ (not in same location) 1955
    Dickey’s 1941

    • jdtTX

      not sure I’d qualify Mesquite BBQ as edible

  • BBQsnob

    Sonny Bryan’s 1958

  • Marcus

    Has Celebration on lovers ever changed hands? It’s been there 40+ I believe.

    • twinwillow

      Same owner.

  • Dutch

    the most important thing to longevity in the restaurant business is owning your own building and having your “real estate costs” be a fixed, predictable number. being at the mercy of a landlord or market in general that may drive your costs up, thereby forcing a restauranteur to either a) earn less money or b) increase prices on the menu and risk upsetting customers/losing business.

    i think you will notice this with the restaurants posted in the comments section.

    also, i’ll toss some names in the hat. not sure of age b/c i’m just shy of 40, but here’s some that i can think of that have been around since i was a kid. S&D, Sonny Bryans, Dunstons, Kubys, Mac’s, Campisis,

  • Monte Malone

    El Fenix is a corporate owned disgrace.

  • Jeff Barker

    Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House…..21 years

  • Jeff Barker

    Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House……21 years

  • Jeff Hayden

    I know of a place with a stable history but that is only because a lot of their meat comes from the stable.

  • Smitty

    Figured Campisi’s on Mockingbird would’ve made it into the comments sooner….

    • Smitty

      Poor Richard’s in Plano….has expanded, but I think it’s the original location.

  • Gina K

    It hasn’t been 40 years, but Amici Signature Italian in Carrollton has been open for 22 years at the same location with the same owner, Chef Bartolino Cocuzza.

  • bread_winners

    Bread Winners is family-owned and we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary in July of this year! Not technically 40 years, but when you are a husband and wife working together, it can feel like we’ve been doing this for a hundred years. LOL. Come see us at one of our four locations!

  • rainey fogiel

    HOffbrau Steaks – the Best little steakhouse in Texas

  • Hankster

    I believe Sal’s Pizzeria on Wycliff near Maple has been there more than 4 decades and has the same owners. Same with Al’s Pizzeria at Webb Chapel and Northwest Highway (although redevelopment of the site has forced them to move to another location in the same shopping center)

  • luluuuu

    Black Forest
    Old Warsaw
    Peggy Sue
    Pyramid Room

  • peteflys

    Alfonso’s Italian Restaurant opened October 1982 in Casa Linda Plaza and moved to it’s current location in 1991. The same owner for 32 years Peter M Colombo.

  • SBolin

    Let’s not forget Royal China – best Chinese in DFW…

  • wrob

    New York Subway hasn’t been continuously owned by same owners. They sold it and bought it back….

  • Jeff

    Jimmy’s Italian Market on Bryan & Fitzhugh has been in business for over 40yrs.
    Owned and operated by the Di Carlo Family. The father, James Di Carlo passed away last year.
    Now run by his sons Paul and Mike.
    “Best” Italian Market in the Metroplex by far. Check out the wonderful Italian Wine Selection … it can’t be beat !