The most important challenge of reinventing an old restaurant, says Fort Worth chef and restaurateur Lou Lambert, is “embracing the heritage.”

They’ve done that at Paris Coffee Shop, the 95-year-old diner in Fort Worth that reopened on Thursday, May 19, 2022, after eight months of renovations.

Paris Coffee Shop has tan booths lining the windows and walls.
Paris Coffee Shop has tan booths lining the windows and walls.(Lola Gomez / Staff Photographer)

“We’ve been listening to clients who have been here for generations, while also working to make it relevant to a new generation,” Lambert says.

Let’s look at the history: Paris Coffee Shop opened in 1926 and was started by a man named Vic Paris. He sold it quickly to Greek man named Grigonos Asikis (who changed the family’s last name to Smith), and the Smiths ran it for nearly 100 years. During that time, the restaurant was moved in the 1970s into its current location, on W. Magnolia Avenue, taking the place of a Safeway grocery store.

Lambert and his business partners Chris Reale and…



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