Saturday night the oldest restaurant in Dallas closed. Vincent’s Seafood was opened by Peter Vincent in 1898. The original location was in downtown Dallas on Poydras Street, between Main and Commerce. In 1955, Vincent sold it to John Kastanos, who would run the place for the next half-century with his brother-in-law Angelo Stergios and Angelo’s brother Bill.
Peter Simek published an interesting historical essay on Vincent’s last week. Simek chronicles the 117-year run of the restaurant. It’s a great read.
My sister-in-law, Sarah, and her father went to lunch at Vincent’s on Saturday. By 10:45 AM, there was a long line. They didn’t open the doors until 11:40, forty minutes past their regular time. Apparently they wanted to go out silently, but when the news leaked they were closing, the restaurant was bombarded by devoted diners. “They were out of almost everything,” Sarah said. “I felt bad for them.”
It’s never easy to watch a huge party of our cultural history die, especially a vibrant restaurant that employed so many people and educated many more on quality seafood.
Now the title of “The Oldest Restaurant in Dallas” falls to El Fenix or maybe Highland Park Pharmacy. They both opened in 1911.
Do you have any memories of Vincent’s? It was a big place for high school proms in my day.