You used to be able to write your name in the grease on the walls at every cafe in the land.
But in the year 2018, the cigarette smoke hovering across the room, red and white plastic table cloths and longing crossword answers are just a distant memory.
However, nestled in a small unit in Hessle Road, Texas Tony’s Cafe is using the original formula but modernising the cafe with its changeable ‘we’ll cook anything for anyone’ and delivery options.
It has all the trials and tribulations of any business in the pre-Brexit climate after starting up in June 2016, but business at Texas Tony’s cafe is currently booming – cooking up 140,000 breakfasts since they opened.
Cafe owner Tony Norrie, 43, says the cafe rattles through a whopping 1,300 eggs and 1,600 sausages a week – and that’s on a quiet seven day stretch.
The Texas Legend, which comprises of two sausages, two rashers of bacon, two fried eggs, two hash browns, two slices of black pudding, mushrooms, one slice of fried bread, one slice of toast, beans and tomatoes, is the cafe’s top seller. And at £5.20 – it’s the deal of the century.
Dad-of-two Tony, who runs the cafe with wife Caroline, said: “People just love the banter we have with them, older people certainly like routine and it gets them out and about – and we also have our delivery service which sends hot dinners to carers in the community.
“This is not really a greasy spoon as such, I wouldn’t call us that because all our food is fresh and we grill a lot of our food – it’s not fried apart from the eggs.”
Tony admitted that their most devoted customer George Magee died in December 2017. George now has a tribute plaque on the wall.
The cafe owner said that George would come in at 12.50pm on the dot every day to have a cup of tea and scampi and chips.
He said: “That’s who we would get in here, a lot of characters, and a lot of people who would come here by themselves to chat to other customers.”
The cafe was originally planned out as an American style diner, but Tony claims that “everyone was doing that at the time”.
Tony, who lives in Hull, has even diversified his business to cater for the hungover student and housebound OAP by announcing the start of
“I think my weirdest request was a turnip, lettuce burger – each to their own I guess,” says Tony with a chuckle.
A regular Texas Tony’s visitor, who only wanted to be called Kev, says he has always enjoyed the ambiance of the grilled bacon, eggs on the fryer and steam coming from the kettle.
“I just like coming here, I’ve got my routine and I like to stick to it,” said Kev, who refused to give his age.
WATCH: Remembering the cafes and bakeries Hull has lost over the years
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“I like it here, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, fills the belly for a good day ahead.”
It’s not exactly somewhere where you would find avocado on toast listed as “10.9” [£10.90] on the menu, or have a bowl full of nuts, it’s where the traditional builder’s brews are downed in their droves – and where counting calories are never counted.
But it does beg the question – is the world of greasy spoon cafes dying out?
Tony replied: “No, never. People love our cafe here and we don’t just get the older generations – young people love getting their hungover cures from us.”
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