Coffee Shop/Googie Main

Brinks Restaurant/Coffee Shop - Dallas, Texas

Built in 1964, I think this is probably one of the best examples of the Mid-Century Modern coffee shop "Googie" style I have ever seen in person. This restraunt was Norman Brinker's (the famous restaurateur) first restaurant and is located at the north corner of the intersection of Greenville and North Carroll Aves in Dallas. These photos are from the early-mid 1990s before it changed owners and became a Chinese restaurant. The building is now (after eventually serving time as a "Splash" washeteria) boarded up and closed. (See bottom of page.) This building has all the standard elements of classic Mid-century modern coffee shop architecture. Huge windows, gravity-defying roof and great stonework. As of this writing (December 2014) I believe it is still standing but I haven't been down there in over a year.

The ramp-like profile of this building with the two overlapping sideways "Zs" is truly unique. I've never seen anything like this before or since. Notice how the stone wall shoots out of the front of the building and divides the entry lobby with the dining area of the restaurant and that the entire front of the building at the lobby is tilted perpindicular to the ramp angle of the roof line.

Here's the other side of the stone wall complete with wrought-iron horse and jockey wall art. Mr. Brinker was an active equestiran and was on the 1952 equestrian Olympic team. Most likely the inspiration for the wall art. The landscaping was really very nicely done. Notice how the front vertical line of the planter wall is parallel with the front line of the stone wall which is at a right angle to the roof line. Super cool detail!

Here's an elevation plan-view of the entry. Notice the overlapping sideways "Zs" and the parallel lines of the front of the stone wall and the front structural members of the entry. Also notice the stepped end of the cement block wall at the far right of the photo. I wish I had a close-up of the front stepped part of the wall. I was really impressed when I noticed how the block wall was built. See photo below for a close-up of the wall.

Another view of the sideways "Zs." The front of the back "Z" floats above the back of the front "Z."

The only reason I took this shot of the northeast wall it to show that the cement blocks that makeup the wall have been cut at an angle on the bottom to put all the lines of the wall on an angle! It gives an optical illusion of the ground being on a slope. I can't imagine anyone going to the trouble to do something this cool today.

Here's a view of the southwest side of the building taken in 2002 after the building had changed ownership and was a chinese restaurant. The stone wall at the rear extends well past the back of the building to screen the rear service area of the restaurant. The large angled-top glass windows at the front are where the dining area is. Notice how the back stone section of the wall angles down from the back of the front roof "Z." There is another stone wall jutting out to the side at the front corner. At the time this photo was taken in 2002 landscaping seems to have deteriorated quite a bit since it was the Brinks.

The original Brinks sign as it looked when I took the photos in the early-mid 1990s. The horse and jockey were featured here as well just like on the stone wall. Classic wacky "Coffee Shop" logo at the bottom! The sign is still standing though the original wording has been removed.

See below.

(Formerly) Brinks Coffee Shop 2009
At least the building is still intact. Pretty sad. I believe the building is still standing though it's now boarded up and closed.