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A Texas Tradition: The Mexican Inn in Fort Worth

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Their restaurants have been in business since the 1930's; they prepare and serve authentic Tex-Mex food the same way for over 80 years:




Welcome To Mexican Inn Cafe
Our History
In 1920, when Fort Worth was still young, a colorful and free-spirited man named Tiffin Hall came to the city. Only 20 years old, he was already a skilled gambler. Soon, Tiffin had established gambling halls throughout his new hometown. He was a quiet man even then-dignified, well-dressed and soft spoken.

The Mexican Inn location at 5th and Commerce operated from 1936 until its closing on December 2, 2005.Tiffin the gambler entered the world of legitimate business in 1936 when his Mexican Inn Cafe opened its doors at 5th and Commerce streets in a downtown Fort Worth building already 50 years old. From the beginning, he insisted upon courteous service and fresh home-cooked food. On a good day in the 1930’s, restaurant receipts might total only $25.00, but much greater amounts were accumulated each night when gamblers gathered in the second floor rooms above the restaurant.

Tiffen's DonkeyWary of traditional advertising, Tiffin commissioned a family pet burro to generate interest in the new cafe. Star would be dressed in a banner reading, “MEXICAN INN CAFE... MEXICAN FOOD EXCLUSIVELY... FOLLOW ME TO MEXICAN INN” and turned loose somewhere downtown. He would find his way back to the side door of the restaurant and beg for tortillas. The police would be compelled to “arrest” Star for being on the street without a permit. Tiffin laughed that he and Star were on the same side of the law.

Demolished to make way for the Tarrant County ConventionBy the 1940’s both of Tiffin’s empires were flourishing. While restaurant employees recall his kindness toward them, headlines depicted him as Fort Worth’s Kingpin of Gambling.” Yet, lady luck continued to smile on Tiffin, and the law remained at bay.

Tiffin’s good fortune lasted until 1966, when a stroke left him permanently disabled. In 1973, on the day of his funeral, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote a fitting epitaph to Tiffin’s life:

“They closed the three Mexican Inns today. It was a gesture of respect for Tiffin Hall, one of the most colorful characters Fort Worth ever produced. Colorful character? Hall would have chuckled over the label and denied it. But it fits the man who came here penniless ... and made a fortune. A man who associated with the most notorious killers of the past 50 years ... and outlived them all. A man who staked the big gamblers ... and always came out the winner.”

Shown in this vintage photo are longtime employeesIn 1980, local businessman Chris Carroll purchased the restaurants from Tiffin Hall’s estate. The Mexican Inn Cafes have become a very special part of his company, Spring Creek Restaurants... so special, in fact, that in recent years, a number of new Mexican Inns have opened their doors to guests...We welcome you!

Our thanks to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, to employees past and present, and to the friends of the Mexican Inn Cafe who contributed to this history.

Welcome to Mexican Inn Cafe


Their Menu:  Lunches                                                                                                                         











We go probably once a month for lunch.  I like #9 and Linda likes #5, but we switch around as we feel like too.  It is wonderful having a family-owned restaurant with several locations, and every one is as good as the other, their quality is excellent!  



post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

And it is sooo good!

post #3 of 7
Thanks for the info, Pops!

Might have to look up the place next time in Fort Worth.
post #4 of 7

From Ft Worth, live in Carthage now. Lisa and I used to eat t there, and you're right. the food and atmosphere are great. Is the one on Henderson (Jacksboro Hwy) still open?

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Oh yes, very much so!  



6709 Lake Worth Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76135
(817) 237-7691



post #6 of 7
I miss the old downtown Mexican Inn. I used to eat there weekly when I worked at the Star-Telegram.

The wife and I used to eat at the one on Lancaster a lot when we lived on the east side. My parents ate at the one on 8th Avenue after each of their 6 grandkids were born (5 at Harris, 1 at All Saints).

And we just had my daughter 8th birthday dinner at the one in Mansfield.

Mexican Inn IS Fort Worth.
post #7 of 7
BTW, this is a good book about that era in Fort Worth if you haven't read it already:
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