Hill’s Café served up the freshest native seafood, caught by its own fleet of fishing boats, at 15th Street and Seawall Boulevard in Galveston. The food tasted delicious and cost less than some other famous Galveston seafood restaurants. The Hill brothers, James, Claude, and L. A., founded the restaurant in 1940.
Served Their Own Catch
The Hill brothers were originally fishermen. They used their knowledge of the Gulf Coast to source the freshest seafood possible for their restaurant. They would often go out fishing themselves. The Hills would also buy seafood from other local fishermen.
The Hill brothers were savvy entrepreneurs, and they established Hill’s Café as a local favorite. The restaurant served the freshest seafood, coupled with reasonable prices and friendly service. Tourists loved the food and the restaurant’s unique ship-shaped building.
This writer remembers some great meals at Hill’s during the 1960s and 1970s. No linen napkins or tablecloths. Wearing your sand-covered swimsuit was okay by them. You could just pull right up to the restaurant when taking a drive down Seawall Boulevard and know you are going to get consistently good food. I find it sad that these unique places have mostly given way to restaurant chains.
Hill’s Café remained in business for over 50 years, and it became a Galveston institution. However, the restaurant closed its doors in 1994. The site later gave way to a Saltgrass Steakhouse.
Here are some additional details about the history of Hill’s Café:
The Hill brothers were all born and raised in Galveston.
The restaurant’s ship-shaped building was designed by local architect Ben Milam.
Hill’s Café hosted various celebrities, including President Dwight D. Eisenhower and actress Ava Gardner.
The restaurant also appeared in several movies and television shows, including “The Love Boat” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
- Year Started: 1940
- Year Ended: 1994
- Origin Of Name: Name of Founders
- Location Sales: Galveston, Texas
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Hill Brothers
- Owner While In Use: Hill Brothers
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Katie’s Seafood House in Galveston
- Naics Code: 722511
- Location Headquarters: Galveston, Texas USA