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The History of Cattlemen’s

“The History of Cattlemen’s as I remember It”

By Mozelle Roach
Widow of Jesse E. Roach, Founder

Front900“In 1945 Jesse and I were living in Austin, Texas. He was practicing law and we had an Insurance Agency writing insurance on long haul trucks. On one of Jesse’s trips to Fort Worth to represent some truckers before a Texas Railroad commission hearing he drove out by the Stock Yards and was amazed by the number of trucks coming into Fort Worth. He came home with the idea that we should have a branch office for our Insurance Agency in Fort Worth. He had noticed a vacant lot on North Main Street that he thought would be the ideal spot. We later bought this lot and constructed a building on it. Then in 1946 we decided to move our main insurance office to Fort Worth and use the Austin office as a branch office. We moved and bought a new home near TCU in Fort Worth.Omar_Rigo600In 1947 Jesse made a trip to Higgins, Texas to call on one of our insurance customers who owned a fleet of trucks and a small café. This man had remarked to Jesse that he had always wanted a cafe in Fort Worth and when he was told that we had one half of a building empty next to our insurance agency office he was interested. He came down to see the building the next day and leased it for a cafe. He had only had the cafe open for a month or two when a tornado hit his home town of Higgins and nearly blew the town away. The man felt like he could not repair the damage to his property in Higgins and run his new café at the same time. We felt sorry for the man and canceled his lease and bought his equipment.

Cattlemens600We first were going to lease out the restaurant but later decided to close it down and make it larger and run it ourselves. From the beginning Jesse liked the restaurant business. He quit practicing law and left the running of the insurance business to me and devoted all of his time to the restaurant. It seemed as if every few days he was remodeling something or adding something to improve the business. We had a carpenter that worked full time for us for many years that did nothing but build or change things in the restaurant. We built a barbecue pit and hired a good barbecue cook and started selling lots of barbecue. We then decided to turn the restaurant into a Steak House instead of it being another cafe. We traveled all over the country until we found several places that could supply us with aged, corn-fed, heavy-beef. We had the steaks flown in once or twice a week and built a large cold storage locker for them in the basement. In the dinning rooms we built broilers with glass display cases in front so that the customers could pick out their steaks and see them cooked over charcoal.

Business started getting better and better so we bought the lots next door and added another room and built party rooms in the basement.

bar900Since 1947 we have owned and operated four other restaurants, The Farmer’s Daughter, Inc. Fort Worth, Texas; Cattlemen’s Steak House, Inc., Live Oak, Dallas, Texas; Cattlemen’s Restaurant, Inc., Preston Center, Dallas, Texas; Cattlemen’s Cafe, Inc., Arlington, Texas; but I believe our favorite was the Cattlemen’s in Fort Worth, Texas ”

Jesse E. Roach passed away Feb. 14, 1988. Mozelle Roach operated the restaurant, as absentee owner until June 8, 1994 at which time a group of experienced international restaurateurs purchased the assets and business of the Cattlemen’s Steak House Inc. Renaming it Cattlemen’s Fort Worth Steak House Inc.®

Presently, not a day goes by that we don’t hear a story about the restaurant and what an important part of history we have been for so many families. Lunch with Grand Dad or a favorite uncle after delivering cattle for the sale, first dates, engagements, graduations, airplane engines designed on the back of our placemats, birthdays, and on and on. Having an up-coming special event? Let us help you start your own traditions at Cattlemen’s Fort Worth Steakhouse.