Casey Jones’ chicken and dumplings, Vasquez’s enchiladas, the Honey Hut’s biscuits and honey, Rexall’s pimiento cheese sandwiches, the Amber Sky Coffee Shop’s pies, and the Kincaid Hotel Coffee Shop’s steaks are among the wonderful culinary memories of the eateries that once populated North Uvalde, Getty, and East and West Main streets.
The shell of Casey Jones’ cafe still stands at the corner of North Park and Commerce streets. Originally located at 103 Front St. across from the railroad, the restaurant was relocated to the corner of Park and Commerce in June of 1952. Cecil and Allene Thompson Hopper purchased the original building around the mid-1970s to use the lumber to build the back part of their home on Frio Street.
From the plywood walls of the old cafe, the Hoppers rescued two signs painted directly on the wall, one saying “No Profanity” and a second stating, “No liquor allowed on premises.” This probably meant hard liquor as Bob Saunders recalls that beer was sold at the original cafe and that there was also a pinball machine on the premises. Among the favorite entrees were chicken and dumplings, cowboy stew, hamburgers, chicken fried steak, and enchiladas with an abundance of onions.
Tom Hardin, UHS 1958 graduate, describes Alton “Casey” Jones as a big, gruff man, but Mrs. Jones was nice and friendly. Hardin recalls that after the second cafe closed, the building was occupied by Vasquez Restaurant. Old ads refer to it as Henry’s Restaurant.
The Vasquez Restaurant, originally called the Tejas Cafe and located on East Main, had its beginnings on May 6, 1935. It is in the process of reopening at 601 West Main, even though its popular proprietor Enrique Vasquez died in 2018 at the age of 85. He was a permanent fixture at the restaurant, taking time to greet and talk to patrons and also entertain them with his music.
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