After 95 years of serving up comfort food, Highland Park Cafeteria is closing its doors for good.
The delightfully retro cafeteria, which originally opened in 1925 on Knox Street, posted to Facebook yesterday that they would not be reopening post-coronavirus. “We would love to have a farewell event to honor you and our faithful employees, but due to the current restrictions, we won’t be able to,” the post reads. “HPC is not tables and chairs and stoves, it is generations of cooks faithfully preparing special recipes and lovingly serving generations of diners.”
The restaurant had a large loyal following, many of whom had lined up every day for old-fashioned comfort food like ambrosia salad and liver and onions. Inside, there was an atmosphere of weathered glory — portraits of every US President and First Lady lined the walls, and pianist Larry Petty, a 22-time Grammy nominee, would perform show tunes and classics from the dining room.
Following the post, hundreds of comments from fans of the restaurant expressed their sadness over the loss of Highland Park Cafeteria. “I can’t even put into words how hard this hits me. The family celebrations — including a wedding rehearsal dinner — and many sweet memories I have here,” one commenter wrote. “I am so so sad for HPC to have to make this awful decision. It is a historic loss for Dallas.”
At one point, Highland Park Cafeteria grew to include eight locations scattered throughout Dallas, but after the oil bust of the 1980s, only one location remained, in Casa Linda. That final location eventually closed in 2006 before being restored and reopened in 2007 by Jeff Snoyer, a real estate agent who at the time had no experience in the restaurant industry.
Fortunately, the post did leave at least a little bit of hope for diners who want Highland Park Cafeteria to make a comeback. “We are safe-guarding the secret recipes, all 932 of them,” it says. “Making no promises, but who knows? Zucchini muffins may one day make a comeback!”