Food News

Celebration Restaurant Turns 50 in March

Celebration — still cooking at 50.
Celebration — still cooking at 50. Kristina Rowe
It's been 50 years since the home-cooking restaurant Celebration opened on Lover's Lane, and while some things have changed with the times, others haven’t. After leading Dallas toward farm-to-table dining long before it was trendy, the restaurant continues to offer a rotating menu of fresh, local and sustainable food. Meals still start with a basket of baked-in-house yeast rolls, muffins and cornbread.

A long-time favorite place for family gatherings and festivities, Celebration knows a lot about celebrating. Starting March 1, the restaurant will be both the host and the honoree of a special bash to mark their 50th year in business.

They’ve already started reminiscing on a special 50th Anniversary section on the restaurant's website. There’s a page with shared customer stories of first dates, wedding rehearsal dinners and family reunions. On the Over the Years page you’ll find pictures of the restaurant from when it first opened to present day.

Photos of founder Ed Lowe and some of his handwritten notes are particularly poignant. One photo shows Lowe in front of the leather shop that was housed inside the restaurant for a time before opening in the now-defunct Prestonwood mall. His pickup truck is also pictured; the caption recalls how he’d drive it to the Dallas Farmers Market to buy produce to prepare and serve in the restaurant.

A note written while planning the 25th anniversary celebration says, “We built it and you came.” In the note, Lowe, who died in an accident in 2018, marveled, “You came: All shapes and sizes, all colors, and both sides of the 'generation gap.' We want to thank you for celebrating with us all these years.”

During that anniversary celebration in 1996, the restaurant served its original menu items at 1971 prices. For their 50th, the restaurant is once again serving some of its original dishes at rollback prices. In keeping with the daily specials, customers can get a daily entree or a vegetable plate for $8.95.
click to enlarge
Now there's a reason to celebrate
courtesy of Celebration
March 1 - Local grass-fed meatloaf
March 2 - Rosemary roasted chicken
March 3 - Pot roast
March 4 - Fresh broiled trout
March 5 - Fried or Cajun-grilled catfish

For the entire month of March, a homemade cobbler of the day with Häagen-Dazs ice cream will be just $3.75. Half-price drink specials on the Celebrita margarita and Ed’s Porch Drink are also on the special anniversary menu.

You’ll have a chance to buy some special milestone-themed merchandise, and rollback-priced meals are also available at Celebration Market and through its catering arm.

In its heyday and before the restaurant expanded in the late '70s and '80s, customers waited outside for as long as two hours for a table. Most were happy to do so and drank wine while chatting with a crowd of regulars or groups getting ready to celebrate something.

Reservations are recommended if you don’t want to throw back to that part of the experience.

Celebration Restaurant, 4503 W Lovers Lane (Northwest Dallas) Open 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
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By day, Kristina Rowe writes documentation that helps users navigate software, and as a contributor to the Dallas Observer she helps people find their way to food and fun. A long-time list-maker, small-business fan and happiness aficionado, she's also been an Observer reader for almost 40 years.
Contact: Kristina Rowe