Food & Drink

August 26, 2014

Eats Beat: Before Kincaid’s, there was Roy Pope Grocery

The old-timey family grocery store and grill three blocks west of Kincaid’s shares a history, but not its turkey burger.

Which came first?

The Kincaid’s burger or the Roy Pope Grocery burger?

Three blocks west of the original Kincaid’s in west Fort Worth, Roy Pope Grocery is two years older and loyal to the original family-grocery-and-grill tradition.

Fifty years ago, when Kincaid’s butcher Ownyel Gentry started making burgers out of meat-market scraps, he quickly made them nationally famous.

But Roy Pope’s grocery also has a deli and burgers, plus fried chicken, homemade sausages and a chicken salad recipe that goes back generations.

Pope’s has a burger that Kincaid’s doesn’t: a turkey burger, grilled and served on rye with chipotle mayo.

But it doesn’t have tables or benches, except outside.

“We talked about adding tables, but if we did, we’d have to take groceries out,” meat market-deli manager Carey Wilson said this week.

Roy Pope Grocery’s grill added turkey burgers about a year ago and tops them with lettuce and tomato straight from the produce department, plus toppings such as bacon, mushrooms, jalapeños or avocado. Turkey burgers cost $4.99, half-pound hamburgers $5.99.

The late Roy Pope founded the grocery in 1944 as a Clover Farm Stores independent grocer. In 1946, he and Charles Kincaid partnered to open what was then Pope-Kincaid Grocery, where Kincaid’s is today.

“They were partners and friends,” said Ron Gentry, the current chief executive of Kincaid’s.

“The way I heard it, Mr. Kincaid wanted to add things like fresh shrimp and gourmet items, and Mr. Pope wanted to have mostly meats and groceries, so they each went their own way.”

Gentry said Kincaid’s definitely served burgers first.

“But I went up to Roy Pope’s the other day, and it reminds me of our store when I was a kid,” he said.

“There’s all this history right there between the two stores.”

Roy Pope Grocery, 2300 Merrick St. at Collinwood Avenue, serves burgers, chicken and lunches weekdays and Saturdays from midmorning till midafternoon, and sells takeout cold items until 7 p.m.; 817-732-2863,

The original Kincaid’s Hamburgers, 4901 Camp Bowie Blvd. at Collinwood Avenue, is open for lunch and dinner weekdays and Saturdays, lunch Sundays; 817-732-2881,

• Restaurant openings made big news last week, leading with the packed first weekend for the new Vietnamese restaurant in the So7 shops, Pho District.

But one of the most popular was a chain opening: a large new El Pollo Regio chargrilled chicken restaurant at 7108 Camp Bowie West Blvd.

El Pollo Regio (“royal chicken”) started as an East Austin food trailer where the Bazaldua family developed a following for grilled chicken and sauces, Monterrey-style.

Now, the Spanish-with-photos menu includes not only whole or half-chicken dinners but also carne asada, burritos, tacos and Mexico-style burgers with ham and avocado, all with chips and a bar with 12 toppings, sauces and salsas.

One day this week, the Camp Bowie West location drew an interesting mixture of Spanish-speaking construction workers, car salesmen in dealer shirts and golfers from Ridglea Country Club.

El Pollo Regio has a half-dozen other Tarrant County locations, plus another new store in Burleson. It’s open daily for lunch and dinner;

• Loco Coyote Grill, continuing the Hammond family’s tradition at its original backroad barbecue roadhouse, has added longer hours for barbecue fans driving miles for Loco ’cue.

It’s now open Thursdays and Fridays for dinner, at 11 a.m. Saturdays for lunch and dinner, and at 11 a.m. Sundays for lunch; 1795 Somervell County Road 1004 between Glen Rose and Chalk Mountain, 254-897-2324,

• Oldwest Cafe’s new Arlington location is off to a slow start, at least by Oldwest standards.

The wait for a Sunday breakfast table was only a half-hour. At the Bedford store, it’s an hour or longer.

The new Oldwest is at 4650 Little Road. Oldwest’s Carolyn Rollins said to look for a Frisco location next, then maybe Roanoke.

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