Frenchy's Black Cat, San Antonio Texas 1940s/1950s
At Frenchy’s Black Cat Cafe the local newspaper reported that the choice of starter on the fixed lunch menu was "cocktail or soup” which makes us laugh. Former patrons have written about how it was a swinging place in San Antonio, Texas, nestled among pool halls, dive bars, barber shops and shoeshine stalls in a strip mall downtown.
Owned by Mrs Frenchy herself - also called Mamie Richards - it was a cheap place for burgers, steaks and booze. It offered special deal shoppers’ lunches for 25c, 35c and 55c in the 1940s. The rather magnificent cat on the front and back of the menu cover also featured on a neon sign on the outside of the restaurant and on the establishment’s advertisements in newspapers. Black cats are said to bring luck, and he must have been the owner’s pet and a fixture in the restaurant.
We’ve found some old adverts that boasted that Frenchy’s Black Cat Cafe was “known from coast to coast” and repeated the restaurant’s slogan which was “nuf sed.” We’re not sure when Frenchy’s was established but we believe it stopped business in the late 1940s or early 1950s.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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