October 18, 2001
serves up hamburgers and history
unassumingly in a small, white brick building on Camp Bowie
Boulevard, Kincaids Hamburgers offers its customers
more than a great hamburger; they serve up a heap of Fort
Worth history as well.
of former beauty queens, Texas sports teams, local radio disc
jockeys and other familiar community faces are strewn along
the white walls along with newspaper and magazine clippings
from Texas Monthly and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that mention
the restaurant. The collection has slowly increased over the
years, due to the support for the modest hamburger joint,
and soon there will be no more wall space for new additions.
tradition is born
than 55 years Kincaids has been a popular eating establishment
located in the cultural district of Fort Worth at 4901 Camp
Bowie Blvd. Its long run of success can be attributed to the
catchy phrase displayed over the front double-glass doors
describing the burger joint as a place where friends
meet to eat. Throughout the years the place has endured
small changes in ownership and decorating techniques, but
has kept its most important attributes: Loyal customers and
Kincaids was established by Charles Kincaid as a full-service
grocery store. The place sold basic grocery items and served
home-style food, but it was most famous for its custom-cut
On a typical
day, people were able to do their grocery shopping while enjoying
people came in to eat the cooked vegetables and chicken fried
steak from the delicatessen, said long-time customer
James Blessing. One lady cooked all the meals and they
were very enjoyable.
would pay after ordering their meal and proceed to eat standing
up at wooden counter tops made from doors costing $1 each.
when Charles Kincaid became ill, the butcher O.R. Gentry took
over management and eventually purchased the store. Gradually
the popularity of the hamburgers outweighed the demand for
groceries and home-cooking and caused an end to the selling
of grocery items.
was glad when they finally removed the dusty groceries no
one seemed to buy because the burgers are what is best about
the place, said long-time customer Yolanda Johnson.
Grocery Market transformed into what is now known as Kincaids
items, such as ketchup, salt and pepper are still on shelves,
but are not available for purchasing. They only serve as reminders
of the past.
it in the family
Kincaids Hamburgers is owned by O.R. Gentrys son
and daughter-in-law, Ron and Lyn Gentry. Morris Gardner, Lyns
father, is the manager of the store.
the years, changes have taken place at Kincaids including
when the original checkout counters, used to purchase groceries,
were removed and long picnic style tables were substituted
in their place in 1991. The long wooden picnic tables covered
in red and white checkered table cloths give customers the
option of sitting down to eat rather than having to stand
up at the counters. Despite the changes, Gardner makes it
a point to keep the appearance of the place unchanged because
his customers have come to enjoy the familiar surroundings
at the restaurant.
hasnt changed over the years either. The place serves
a variety of people including families, businessmen, construction
workers, senior citizens and high school students. Many customers
have made eating at Kincaids a weekly tradition.
come here and eat at least once a week and have been doing
it since I graduated high school (more than) ten years ago.
said Carol Smith.
Fort Worth families, the tradition of eating at Kincaids
has been passed down from one generation to the next.
the last 15 years, eating at Kincaids has been a weekly
Saturday tradition, said Keith Van Meter. I took
my first child here when she was only eight or ten days old
and continued doing that with my other children.
provides a casual, friendly atmosphere that makes customers
feel like family. It is common to see customers catching up
on work, reading newspapers or watching sports events while
eating. It is also not unusual to see Gardner making his way
around the room to talk to familiar customers or to meet new
are now able to contribute to the area while investing in
a permanent memory of their visits to Kincaids. Customers
can purchase bricks with their names inscribed and have them
put in the landscaped area across the street from the place
for posterity. The area used to be a plain grass strip, but
is now landscaped with trees, benches and bricks, which will
be added soon. The bricks are $40 each and are sold by Kincaids
to raise money for the Historic Camp Bowie, an organization
designed to improve the area around Camp Bowie Boulevard.
to manager Morris Gardner, the future will not bring any drastic
changes to Kincaids.
may expand to other areas but will continue to keep the same
traditional values and great food because what we have been
doing seems to be working, Gardner said.