Vintage Houston Restaurant Postcards: The Days of Wine and Roses

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.

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."

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.

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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Katharine Shilcutt