SAN ANTONIO - The oldest restaurant in San Antonio marks a milestone in its existence this year, Schilo's Delicatessen is turning 100.
"They were here in 1914 only as a bar. Then, they started serving food," Bill Lyons said.
Lyons' family bought the restaurant in 1981.
The downtown deli was founded by the Schilo family. As history writes, the space was a saloon in the early 1900's after Papa Fritz Schilo moved from Beeville. Then, prohibition changed their business model forever.
The Schilo's moved from South Alamo Street to its current location at 424 E. Commerce Street in 1927 where the family served German food.
They leased space from the Lyons who own neighboring Casa Rio, so acquiring Schilo's was a natural fit for the Lyons.
"We owned the property since '72," Lyons said.
The 78-year-old restaurateur decided the brand of the business should stay the same. The families and people who worked or visited downtown would expect their comfortable commonplace.
"You stick to the tradition," he said.
The space remains remarkably masculine and historic.
Black and white family pictures line some of the walls as well as postcards with a western European flair. Mounted deer, boar, and more frame part of the restaurant too.
"It's the only place my wife would let me put them," he said.
The Lyons did scale back to the simplicity of what made the delicatessen popular. Lyons said it also made the business more efficient.
"Soups, sandwiches, plate lunches, stuff that the business people could get in here and get out of here and get back to work," he said.
Lyons calls their fare German-Tex. Neighborhood Eats had a Lone Star state sized sample of breakfast and lunch items starting with their Reuben. It's classically stacked. Go on the wild side...tap the sandwich with their specially made hot mustard. Que Rico! The sandwich is not overly done.
From their brunch menu, we tried their wiener schnitzel with a fried egg on top and loved it! There are options for the meat they use for this dish.
Of course, their sister restaurant couldn't let Schilo's serve breakfast without breakfast tacos and freshly made salsa. Much appreciated as a tasty alternative.
Neighborhood Eats couldn't wait for the potato pancakes and apple sauce. Que Rico!
By the way, Schilo's started carrying breakfast pastries from Bakery Lorraine.
Lyons' daughter Elizabeth said the restaurant is planning a special celebration for their centennial in October. Happy Birthday!
That's this week's edition of Neighborhood Eats. If you have a recommendation for Marvin send him an email (Mhurst@kens5.com), tweet (@Mhurstkens5) or post it to the KENS 5 Facebook page. #KENS5EATS