- Photos, Ephemera & Historical Trivia for Oak Cliff, Texas.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Red Bryan's Smokehouse

Red Bryan's Smokehouse
610 W. Jefferson, phone Y 2-2350

The first Bryan smokehouse was started by Elias Bryan in 1910. His son, William Jennings "Red" Bryan brought the family business to Oak Cliff about 1935. Red's son, William Jennings Bryan Jr, or "Sonny", continued the tradition when he opened his own smokehouse in 1958. Red died in 1973, but you can still get Sonny Bryan's barbecue today. Oh, and you may recognize this building; it's now El Ranchito Restaurant.

COMMENTS lifted from the old web site:

Jon   12-14-2009
jgk5557 at aol.com
I can remember eating many a meal there as a kid. Sometimes at lunch when my Dad what stop in the Jones-Blair paint store next door or the evening and we would walk across the street to the big Sears store.

Robert Bullard   9-22-2010
wd3t  at  msn.com
I don’t remember Red’s at that location , never went there , however went to the one he had on Webs Chapel extenison in north Dallas! Fine food And like his brother Sonny!

bill k   9-28-2011
clmbk  at  sbcglobal.net
My folks took me to eat barbecue at Red Bryan’s on west Jefferson starting in the late forties when oak cliff was still wet and red Bryan’s had a beautiful bar with a collection of old west pistols and rifles behind glass on the back bar. Deer and Texas long horns were mounted on the walls and the sweet smell of barbecue hung heavy in the air. At Christmas time the Sears and Robuck, just across the street, had a corner display window full of toys, a must see for kids at the time.

Garth   10-8-2011
garth.5  at  tx.rr.com
I grew up in Ennis & in the mid-fifties my folks would go to Dallas, visit cousins, shop on Jefferson & eat at Red Bryan’s. My two most vivid memories include that of the round lobby settee, covered with cowhide with the hair still in place. All the kids loved to sit there. Secondly, beef dinners were served on a two level serving tray with a dollop of burning gel on the bottom to keep the meat warm on the top. Very impressive back then. I fondly recall the Sears, Smitty’s Gun Shop, & Wynnwood Village Toy Store several miles away. BBQ was the best anywhere.

Betty Wright   7-23-2012
wrightboops  at  yahoo.com
My husband and I ate at Red Byrans old smoke house many times as young kids and then when we started dating it was one of the first places he took me on a date after church ever Sunday night , we loved to have the sandwich and top it off with the wonderful peach tart with the sweet whipping cream on top and if we were lucky in the winter to get s table close to the beautiful fireplace OMG so romantic ! He was nineteen and I was sixteen My Mom thought it was just to far to go as we lived on Fleming off of Ewing St. and attended Gospel LIght House Church and the drive to the Pig Stand was only just three blocks down from the church . We loved all the shops along Jefferson and my date loved to drag down Jefferson and I will say he won most of the drags… he always needed new tires on his ford . Great memories . We will always love OAK CLIFF .

Glen Waggoner
glenwaggoner  at  gmail.com
Lordy be, does that postcard evoke fond memories!
A Sunset High School grad (Class of 1958), I lived in Oak Cliff from 1951, when my father died and my mother and I moved into the then-new Clearview development near Keist Park (2218 McAdams, until 1960, when I got married and went to live in married students’ housing at SMU, from which I graduated in 1962. I left Dallas for good in 1962 to go to graduate school at Columbia University in New York, where I now live.
For my generation of Sunset Bisons, Red Bryan’s was where you took a special date after the Sweethearts Dance. (Or with your parents: too pricy for a kid like me operating on paper route money and the 50 cents an hour I made at the Wyatt’s Grocery Store across the street from Red’s place.) Even today, I can close my eyes and smell the sweet, spicy aroma—and well-chilled air—that greeted you when you walked through the door on a hot summer night.
But while we’re waxing nostalgic let’s not forget Sivils, that wonderful monster of a drive-in way out west at the triangle where Jefferson and West Davis merged to form (if memory serves) Fort Worth Cutoff. (Help me here, people. I’m 71, and I haven’t lived in Big Day for 50 years.) At Sivils on Saturday, four guys to a vehicle would spend the evening cruising round and round and round, stopping only to talk to a carload of girls waiting for us to play suit. Oh, now and then, we’d empty the car except for the driver, and he’d pull up to a station and ask the car hop for “a six-pack of Schlitz, please.” That assignment went to whichever of us could sit taller behind the wheel ((I was 6’2″ and often was the designated to try to make the buy) and/or had the best fake ID. We didn’t fool any of the veteran carhops, but we often got our beer, possibly through our charm but more likely because the car hops knew they could hold out for a sizable tip.
So, let’s salute Red Bryan’s, a true Oak Cliff icon, but let’s also remember another, Sivil’s.
PS: The mention of Sonny Bryan and his place years later will remind certain of us of his sister, Brenda (Sunset Clas of 1957, I think), and herbrand-new white 1955 T-Bird, the first year that other American icon hit the streets.

Dallas Motel

dallas motel

The Dallas Motel was located at 3224 W. Davis, which would put it just about where Davis crosses Westmoreland. This photo is circa 1962.

from Michele   11-20-2011
milliemartgirl  at  aol.com

Its a Payless shoe store now.

Jack In The Box

photo by Della Cirillo
photo by Della Cirillo
Jack-in-the-Box at Polk and Camp Wisdom, circa 1968. Was it the northeast corner? I think this was the second Jack in Oak Cliff; the first one was on the SW corner of Illinois and RL Thornton Freeway.

really old Jack in the Box from who knows where
really old Jack in the Box from who knows where

I still prefer the old menacing clown to the current smiley Jack. What was it with the fifties and sixties and all those threatening logos? Must've been that cold war mentality. Which reminds me - Anybody got a photo of the old Griff's on Lancaster? Please send it to me!

COMMENTS lifted from old blog site:

from John Buford  7-4-2009
robtmccready at  yahoo.com
The northeast corner is correct.

Laurie Duran  8-1-2009
laurielaurieann  at  sbcglobal.net
Having graduated from Carter High in 1971, my sister and I went to this Jack in the box every chance we could,even on Thanksgiving day when we bought 10 tacos for a dollar. This Jack in the box was a local hang out after school for a lot of kids.The guys would drive around the block in their new Roadrunners to show off their cars. There was another one on Davis street thats still there. My husband and I went there on our first date in 1972 after seeing a movie at the drive in. We still live in North Oak Cliff and would not ever consider moving away.

from Jon   12-14-2009
jgk5557  at  aol.com
I remember as as kid leaning out of the back window of the car and talking to Jack’s head (speaker inside) and giving the order at the one in the top picture.

from Sandy Granger   12-15-2009
sgranger  at  email.com
This one, the one on Illinois, and the one on Davis — they all played a big part in my younger days. Jack-in-the-Box was THE BEST. Standard order: BonusJack, two tacos, fries, and a large Dr Pepper. No wonder I eventually had a massive heart attack or three. :)

Robert Bullard   9-22-2010
wd3t  at  msn.com
This is not the Jack in the Box that was on Campwisdom near Polk St. Don’t know where this one was but not there! I Hung out there when it was first built till the early 70′s and this is not the one that was there. Key tale tale sign, was a Conoco gas station next door which latter turned in to a Fas-Gas station! And other land marks not in picture! Also no srubs on the side like this as there was a vacant field there where you could drive into it and there was always alot of cars there when not wet from rain, otherwise we’d park across the street in the Hodges parking lot! Shrubs were around the light standards only none like this!

Lisa   4-9-2012
lfox5472  at  hotmail.com
Are yall certain this is the Polk & Camp Wisdom location(NE Corner)? Grew up there and surroundings don’t look like anything I remember. But that’s how memories are.

Sunset High School

Built in 1925, Sunset was the second high school erected in Oak Cliff. 
Still standing at 2120 W. Jefferson. Go, Bisons!

Wynnewood Prescription Pharmacy

101 Wynnewood Building    -    Phone WH. 6-2103     -     Dallas
Matchbook probably from early 1960s. I'm pretty sure WH stood for Whitehall.

Comment from old blog site:
from Rosie Salinas   6-12-2012
rosa.a.jimenez at gmail.com
I remember this place! Now it’s an empty lot with wild grass. My aunt used to take me with her to her dentist appointments and she even took her wedding photos in a little studio that was on the second floor.

Austin's Bar-B-Q

Austin's in 2000 just before it was demolished. Thanks to Scott Dorn for use of his photo
Austin's in 2000 just before it was demolished. Thanks to Scott Dorn for use of his photo
probably before 1966 - note use of FEDERAL exchange for phone no.
Matchbook, probably before 1966.
"Tender as ol' Austin's Heart" was the familiar saying associated with this Oak Cliff favorite. Owner Austin Cook started the business at 2321 W. Illinois off Hampton Rd. in 1949 with five booths, three tables and five stools.In 1966, after several expansions the restaurant could hold 120 people. Officer J.D. Tippit moonlighted at Austin's in the early sixties, as crowd control on rowdy Friday nights. Austin Cook was active in the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce for many years, and he also owned the Big Daddy Grill on Highway 67 near Kiest.

The building was demolished to make way for a new Eckerd's (now CVS) pharmacy.

originally published 6-13-2009

COMMENTS from the old web site.

from Epi - 5-28-2010
epicam1981 at  gmail.com
My wife’s grandfather worked there, everyone just called him “Red”, he was even buried in his Austin’s work shirt.

from Eric Cox   9-23-2012
reddaytonadog  at  yahoo.com
As anyone would tell you, there’s no way things today are like they were yesterday and there is no way tomorrow will be like it is today. It gradually changed and the something like this comes along and then it completes the cycle, there’s no way out. I only ate there once and it was back in 1994 or 1995. It’s sad we had to lose a piece of history in Oak Cliff, but still, progress sometimes dictates things that we don’t like.

from Linda   10-13-2012
lindaling1  at  gmail.com
My husband and I both have memories of the best cheeseburgers we ever ate coming from Austin’s. **sigh**

Ritz Motel

I'm getting a picture of old Davis Street between Westmoreland and Cockrell Hill Road; that it was a stretch of motels and restaurants back in the fifties, as well as housing the Chalk Hill Drive-In across the road from this motel.Wonder how many tourists passed along Highway 80 back in those days.
Today there's a white brick building at 3842 W. Davis that looks like it could have been a motel once upon a time, but if it's the same building it's devolved quite a bit.

from Michele (milliemartgirl at aol dot com) 11-20-2011

This is now called the Texas Motel. It's the same building if you look at google maps. (same location, same shape, etc)
If you do the 3D map on google, you have to use 3842 Fort Worth Ave as the address and you can look around-kind of neat.

Trinity River Bridge

This is a circa 1906 view of the wooden bridge over the Trinity that was located near to the current location of the Houston Street Viaduct. It's the bridge that was famously washed away in the flood of 1908. I read somewhere you can still find remnants of the piers in the river bottom near Cadiz Street, probably big ol' Bois d'Arc stumps.

Texas Theater

Opened on San Jacinto Day, April 21, 1931, as the largest suburban theater in Dallas. Only the Majestic and the Palace Theaters in downtown Dallas exceeded the Texas' capacity of 2000 patrons. It was touted as the first theater in Dallas to be constructed specifically for talking motion pictures, and it also featured a pipe organ played by Dwight Brown. The first week's program included the Fox Movietone News, a Mickey Mouse cartoon, and the Buster Keaton talkie, "Parlor, Bedroom and Bath." Price of admission: 35, 25, or 10 cents depending on which show you attended.

I remember going to the Texas on weekends all during the sixties. I think the first movie I saw here without any parental supervision was "Thunderball". Classic James Bond, which was mostly over my head.

At left is an artist's rendition of what the Texas looked like on opening night. with original sign and marquis. The bright lights and Italian Renaissance facade led some to label West Jefferson a new "Amusement Way."

For more info see History of Texas Theater

Below, how the theater looked like on Nov 23,1963.