DeWese’s Tip Top Café

The new Tip Top Cafe location in the Northeast Corridor.

The new Tip Top Cafe location in the Northeast Corridor.

DeWese’s Tip Top Café has been a mainstay in San Antonio since 1938. They are known for their homestyle cooking, just like grandma made, with a menu including Texas-sized Chicken Fried Steaks, award-winning golden Onion Rings, and made-from-scratch daily icebox pies. Third generation owner Linda DeWese has been keeping the tradition alive since her grandparents Winny and Pappy DeWese started the restaurant 77 years ago.

What was the inspiration for your business name? We are in the business of serving up home-style, comfort food, just like grandma made, while providing TIP TOP service to everyone that walks through our doors.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new location in the NEC, with owner Linda DeWese and Councilman Mike Gallagher on the far right.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new location in the NEC, with owner Linda DeWese and Councilman Mike Gallagher on the far right.

How did you become involved with your business? What motivated you to start your business? “I am a third generation owner, who grew up in the business. Very little has changed since my grandparents Winnie and Pappy DeWese started the restaurant in 1938 and I would not have it any other way. I guess you can say that the family atmosphere and home style cookin’ here at Tip Top Café runs in my blood,” says Linda DeWese.

What are you best known for and why? What makes your business unique? We’ve set the table for mayors and mechanics and we’re proud to say everyone feels at home at Tip Top Café. The Tip Top Café has even been featured on the Guy Fieri program “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” on the Food Network. We still have the knotty pine walls, the diner style counter seats, and we don’t start cooking your food until you order it. 

Happy customers enjoying their favorite Tip Top classics at the new location in the NEC.

Happy customers enjoying their favorite Tip Top classics at the new location in the NEC.

What about your business makes you most proud? I am especially proud of hosting fundraisers for charitable causes, and serving lunch for the last 13 years to our firefighters on 9/11 at our adopted Fire Station 19 (Vance Jackson). This year Fire Station 40 (O’Connor Road in District 10) will join the tradition on Oct. 9 when Tip Top Café will deliver a hot lunch in observance of National Fire Prevention Day. FS40 is only 6/10th of a mile from second Tip Top Café location, and one whole shift showed up and ate together at the restaurant’s grand opening July 15, 2015. A portion of the day’s proceeds from July 15 went to Family Service Association.  Tip Top also has another long tradition of community involvement at their original location by partnering with the Youth Against Gang Activity (YAGA) initiative, and serving meals to those in assisted living near the original restaurant.

What do you like the best about the neighborhood/being located in the NEC? “We are nestled in a great community with a larger facility to better serve our guests and even have a private banquet room that seats fifty,” says DeWese, who jokes she likes to boast the new place can brag about indoor plumbing.

Owner Linda DeWese showing off one of their famous pies with Ed Garza, a former mayor of San Antonio.

Owner Linda DeWese showing off one of their famous pies with Ed Garza, a former mayor of San Antonio.

Complete the following:  “When a customer walks into our business they can expect…” Delicious, made to order, served hot, home style cooked meal, served with a heaping helping of Texas-sized hospitality. And remember to order your pie with your meal. Don’t wait because our pies fly off the shelf.

DeWese’s Tip Top Café. 13835 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217.  http://www.tiptopcafe.com/ (210) 277-7346

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