Vintage Houston Restaurant Postcards: The Days of Wine and Roses

Categories: Leftovers

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Brennan's has long been the cock of the walk in Houston.
Although a good handful of Houston restaurants have been around at least as long as my grandparents, the general rule of thumb in this city is that restaurants live fast and die young.

And although you rarely find postcards of current restaurants anymore, in any city, we have that dying medium to thank for some of the most enduring images of Houston restaurants past.

Lavish dining rooms filled with crystal and silver, Tiki-themed restaurants and dance floors -- all hallmarks of a bygone era -- abound in old postcards from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Take a trip back in time with us as we browse some of the vintage postcard offerings at CardCow and try to recall a kinder, gentler time in the Houston dining world.


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Trader Vic's

Yes, Houston used to have a Trader Vic's. Even sadder, it used to be housed in the glorious Shamrock Hotel. This is why we can't have nice things. According to my mother, bless her, "Trader Vic's was the shit."

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Sir Loin

Houston may have never had its own Medieval Times, but Sir Loin looks like it came pretty darn close. In all seriousness, though, owners Mary and Sonny Look were Houston restaurant legends. Sonny died back in 2003 and was responsible for now-gone landmark restaurants like Sir Loin, The Depot and the eponymous Sonny Look's.

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The Depot

Speaking of The Depot, this Look restaurant proved that even a train theme could be upscale if done correctly -- and it was, recalling all the glory of the "Golden Era of railroads." Sadly, all trace of The Depot is now gone, and a drive-thru branch of Chase stands in its old location at 212 Milam.



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11 comments
montrose.patriot
montrose.patriot

in response 2 the Trader Vic's postcard - my late mom was one of the cocktail waitresses who worked nite shifts (my dad was one of the bartenders until he was offered a position @ the Westin Galleria; Trader Vic's back in the 1970s employed Asian Americans long b4 affirmative action was a hot topic - when word of the restaurant shuttin down in 1980 came true some went 2 the Westin Galleria and Westin Oaks or ended up on Bellaire Blvd (now the Asiatown District)...

Kathleen
Kathleen

Are there any Christie's postcards out there? I believe it might be the oldest restaurant in Houston now. Interior looks the same today as it always has, so maybe a vintage postcard isn't even necessary!

Jrains
Jrains

My dad used to run around with Sonny Look's son. They used to take Sonny's Cadillac out to a field and chase armadillos around in it.

Craig
Craig

Down with Facebook and up with Postcards.

I'm serious.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

No pics or postcards from the Old San Francisco Steakhouse? Or U.R. Cooks? Or Two Pesos?!? At least include Two Pesos!

Jamescristinian
Jamescristinian

I miss George Dentler's Pier 21, Bill Williams "Chicken in the Rough," Zorba the Greek, and the original Ninfa's on Navigation. The new "original" just doesn't cut it. No chef and fish tacos please.

Marie
Marie

Somehow I remember the Swiss Chalet being on Westheimer. Oh that Brennan's! I never knew that incarnation! Looks like a French nightmare.

Duceyweb
Duceyweb

Fantastic! Thanks for that.

laurenmacqueen
laurenmacqueen

So our Swiss Chalet wasn't *the* Canadian staple Swiss Chalet?("Although I like the Chalet Swiss I like the sushi 'cause it's never touched a frying pan")

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