Fort Worth's Lunch Box is packed with tradition

Posted 5:47pm on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012

Nothing ever changes at The Lunch Box, a timeless tea room-lunch cafe tucked deep inside the Village at Camp Bowie shopping center.

New owner Immy Khan will make sure it stays that way.

Khan, a former star Country Day School star athlete who grew up on The Lunch Box's chicken salad sandwiches, leads the restaurant into a new generation after buying it July 31 from 30-year owners Chris and Vicki Stellar.

Like most guys, Khan was a Lunch Box diner mostly through takeout. Family members were regulars there before he was born, bringing home box lunches and the restaurant's cream pies and cookies, a tradition on Fort Worth's west side.

To bring The Lunch Box to new Ridglea diners, Khan has already added a daily Twitter update of lunch specials and will do more social-media marketing to help customers find the tiny nook tucked behind Jake's Burgers.

Chris Stellar will stay and co-host for a year, he said.

The Stellars were the third owners of what started as Paula's Tea Room.

"When I bought it, I was going to be here eight weeks to get it up and running, then go back to the oil business," Chris Stellar said. "But the oil business collapsed. So I wound up sticking around 30 years."

A few Yelp.com diners found it, bragging about the "best food in the world" and "greatest piece of chocolate pie." But mostly, The Lunch Box has been filled with four generations of local regulars.

"The greatest people in Fort Worth come through here," Stellar said.

He's still there at lunch weekdays and Saturdays; 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-738-2181, eatthelunchbox.com.

Buffalo Gap Steakhouse , a rustic Western restaurant similar to a Granbury cousin, will open by Sept. 1 at 7101 Camp Bowie Blvd. W.

(To repeat: This is nothing like the famous Perini Ranch Steakhouse in the town of Buffalo Gap.)

Opening next week: the Pie Five Pizza chain at the new College Park Center near the University of Texas at Arlington (best pizza: the spicy "Pie-Ferno"), with a Digg's Taco Shop and a Grip Mediterranean Grill (from Ali Baba and Terra) to follow in November.

Also opening next week in time for school: the reborn Los Vaqueros at 3105 Cockrell Ave., near Texas Christian University.

Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com Weekend. 817-390-7538

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Twitter: @eatsbeat

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