With a legacy of over 80 years as a local dining establishment, Cox’s Grill in Tyler closed its doors for the final time on Monday.

The restaurant has been a part of Tyler since the early 1930s with Francis H. Cox founding the eatery, which got its start in downtown Tyler.

With its current location at 706 W. Front St., Cox’s has had a few other locations over the years, including 2613 W. Erwin St. in 1953 and the second floor of the Citizen’s National Bank building in Tyler in 1958.

Amber Garza, who has owned the business since February, said she will miss seeing the customers who have become family.

“Everybody is sad. A lot of them are mad that we’re closing. Our customers are like family. We love our customers,” Garza said. “It’s going to be sad to not see their faces everyday. My favorite memory is the friendships that have come out of it.”

She took over after her aunt, Linda Blackstock, died last November. Blackstock owned the restaurant since 1982. All the workers are family and friends, she said. Garza recalled helping her aunt in the summers since she was 12 years old.

In a 2014 Tyler Morning Telegraph article, Blackstock spoke of the restaurant’s inviting environment.

“We try to make everyone happy with our food, atmosphere and good service,” Blackstock said. “We have lots of regulars here every morning.”

Molly Beard and Stephanie Drennan said the restaurant has the best burgers they’ve had. They added that it’s one of the places they often eat at for their lunch breaks.

“They’re wonderful. We’re really sad to see them close. We usually eat here at least once a week,” Beard said.

Aside from the great food, Amber Greene said she will miss the humble service she receives as a customer at Cox’s.

Garza said Cox’s is a Tyler staple with hundreds of regulars who are known by both their name and food orders.

“Nobody’s a stranger here,” Stacey Hays said.

Carroll and Mollie Bobo, owners of the United Country Bobo Realty, have been patrons for 20 years and visit about three times a week.

“We’re very sad. I (am) going to miss the people. It’s a gathering place,” Mollie Bobo said.

Carroll Bobo compared Cox’s Grill to the television show “Cheers,” and the line in its theme song that says “everybody knows your name.” He said the same is true for Cox’s.

“There’s a lot of regulars that eat here,” Carroll Bobo said.

The decision to close was hard, but it had to be made, Garza said. She said the restaurant is closing due to code updates from the Health Department. The changes would have required them to make many expensive renovations to the kitchen.

TWITTER: @ZWellerman


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I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.