Austin has more to say about the Stallion Drive Inn

Including a debate about the actual color of the cream gravy.


Our story about the Stallion Drive Inn, a comfort food spot on North Lamar Boulevard, stirred strong memories among our readers.

Steve Hamlett remembers cheap, good food — and lots of it. He describes a sign on the side of the building that read: “Flash Your Lights.”

“Were diners supposed to flash their car lights to let the people inside know that more customers were arriving?” Hamlett writes. “Seemed very strange. I don’t think I ever actually did it or saw anyone else do it.”

Might have been a relic of the Stallion’s curb service days. Hamlett also remembers a Stallion jingle set to the tune of the “Bonanza” TV theme.

During the 1960s and ’70s, Don Valk usually stopped by the Stallion on the way to the Skyline Club.

“They had a special: For 35 cents got you a couple of chicken wings, small salad and a couple of french fries,” Volk writes. “To get in the Skyline was around 50 cents and there was 10-cent beer from 8 to 9:30 p.m. plus plenty of fine looking ladies to dance with.”

Mike Steele dropped into the Stallion often.

“There was a cook there named Willis Earls who had been a professional boxer,” Steele writes. “He had an intimidating presence but was super nice. Biggest hands I’ve ever seen. You could pass a quarter through one of his rings. Not only did he cook, he kept the peace there.”

The color of the cream gravy concerned several readers, who called it orange, green or yellow-green.

“The gravy wasn’t orange,” Harry Thompson writes. “It was the light from the beer signs.”

As for exactly when the Stallion closed, we received three crucial messages.

Jeanette Breedlove recalls that her husband, Mack Breedlove, was the commercial broker who talked the owners, Bill Joseph’s family, into selling the tract in the early ’80s.

Bill Joseph, son of the owner, called to say that his father operated the Stallion from 1949 until his death in Dec. 18, 1981. His mother kept place open for another year; then, it was managed by an uncle, E.C. Mowdy.

Joseph, part of the extended Lebanese-Texan family, recalls the spot as a place where World War II veterans gathered to tell stories they wouldn’t talk about elsewhere.

Stewart Smiley says the Stallion closed unexpectedly the day before Thanksgiving 1984. “No notice was given ahead of time,” Smiley told us. “It just closed and that was it.”



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