If you were adventurous enough to trek through a somewhat neglected Market Square in the spring of 1978, you might have come across the original Treebeards on Preston Street. Our 30 seat cafe, tucked between a peep show arcade and a rowdy bar, opened March 1, 1978, in what had been a pool hall. The menu featured many of the same Southern style dishes that we serve today.
Luckily, people did find us and enjoyed our food enough to recommend us to their friends and co-workers. We soon outgrew the original location and made the move to Travis street in June of 1980. Known to historians as the Baker-Meyer Building, circa 1861, our current location facing Market Square Park is the second oldest building in Houston.
We have expanded over the years and now operate five restaurants in downtown Houston. The Cloister became our second location when we were approached by the clergy of Christ Church Cathedral to operate the food service in the church's restaurant, The Cloister. We began serving Treebeards' menu in the unique setting of the church's social hall and adjoining courtyard in 1981.
Our search for a third location led us into downtown Houston's tunnel system. At 1100 Louisiana, we found a previous tenant's vacant employee cafeteria. The setup was ideal and we opened for business in 1990.
A desire for something simpler sparked a take-off on the Treebeards concept at The Shops at Houston Center in 2011 and Pennzoil Place in 2012. These locations were designed to serve a limited menu of Treebeards' favorites for take-out only.
Thank you to our loyal customers, friends, and the Treebeards staff for 40 great years. We are forever grateful.
Dan Tidwell opens the original Treebeards in a former pool hall on Preston St. tucked in between a peep show arcade & a rowdy bar. Jamie Mize joins the company within the year.
The original Treebeards moves to 315 Travis St (current day location) facing Market Square in the second oldest building, circa 1861, in Houston. The Baker-Travis building’s previous tenants included a seed store, a tailor shop run by Rex Braun (former State Rep), a toy store, and several lounges including the Super Market, a popular psychedelic night club in the late 1960’s.
Treebeards Cloister opens in the social hall and adjoining courtyard at Christ Church Cathedral. Founded on March 16, 1839, Christ Church Cathedral was Houston’s first religious congregation (Episcopalian) and is the only one still worshiping on its original site from the days when Houston was the capital of the Republic of Texas. Treebeards begins serving many judges, juries, and attorneys at this location near the courthouse.
Treebeards Tunnel, 1100 Louisiana, opens in a previous tenant’s vacant employee cafeteria in the basement of the 51 story office building. This was also Jolie Stinneford’s, one of Treebeards current owners, first day at Treebeards.
Treebeards Take-Away opens at 700 Rusk, tunnel level, between Two Shell Plaza and Pennzoil Place. This tiny restaurant, exclusively take-out, was somewhat of a new concept serving a limited menu of Treebeards favorites.
Longtime manager, Jolie Stinneford, and her husband, Charles, along with another longtime manager, Matt Rowden, purchase Treebeards from the founders, Dan Tidwell and Jamie Mize.
Treebeards in the Shops at Houston Center, another takeout only location, opens in a former Leopold Price & Rolle location.
Treebeards moves the original Treebeards TakeAway at 700 Rusk one block north and opens at Pennzoil Place, tunnel level. The new location is bigger, better, and serves chicken fried chicken for the first time!