Thursday, March 31, 2005

Historical EZ's in Dallas to Be Demolished

One of the best-preserved examples of "Googie-style" coffee shop architecture in Texas is the recently-closed EZ's at the corner of Northwest Highway and Hillcrest in Dallas. For photos, check out Eric Green's Cosmicool site dedicated to Mid-Century Modern design.

Opened in 1964 as Kip's Big Boy, the building retains most of the optimistic, space-age design elements first popularized in Southern California by the architectural firm of Armet & Davis. If memory serves me correctly, this was the last Kip's Big Boy operating in Texas when it closed in the late Eighties or early Nineties.

EZ's, the San Antonio-based hamburger/pizza eatery, took over the Kip's building sometime in the mid-Nineties. Much like they did with the old 2-J's on North Lamar here in Austin, EZ's renovated with an eye toward the building's growing historical significance. Unfortunately, 7-Eleven owns the land and wants to tear it down, so they raised the rent and forced EZ's out.

Although getting a historical landmark designation for a structure less than 50 years old is a long shot at best, Preservation Dallas has taken an interest in saving the building. Having spent a good portion of my adolescence wired up on bottomless cups of coffee at a now-razed Kip's Big Boy in Houston, I hope they succeed.


Karla said...

You had me scared that they closed the EX's in Austin. I would always go there for the mushroom mozzerella burgers. If it closed, I would be upset.
Kip's Big Boy has memories in Houston. I remember how the big boy always ended on up on the roof of Bellaire!

Wes said...

I drive by that EZ's everyday to and from work, and ate there pretty often. I was shocked when I saw the closed banner in the window. That not only is EZ's gone but that they are going to tear down the building is terrible news. I remember eating there when it was Kip's.

BTW, how do you hear about this stuff?

Greg said...

I remember eating at the Northwest Hwy. Kip's once when I was in preschool. I ate at the Kip's that used to be on Mockingbird over by you many times.

As far as how I heard about it, I Google "Kip's Big Boy" ever so often to find out if anyone else out there remembers. You could say it's an obsession of sorts.