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SOURCE: Sea Island Shrimp House
Dan Anthony teamed up with Bob Luby and Earl Abel for the sake of desegregation in San Antonio. His Manhattan Cafe on Houston Street was the first restaurant to desegregate in San Antonio on Christmas Day, 1963.
San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) January 18, 2013
On Christmas Eve 1963, Dan Anthony, owner of the Manhattan Café, spoke to local activist, Father Sherrill Smith, to help spread the word about the sit-in scheduled at the restaurant happening on Christmas Day. Mr. Anthony wanted to protest the treatment of blacks and the segregation that existed in the community.
Feeling that breaking bread with one another could dismantle barriers, the protest Mr. Anthony assembled was before the formally mandated desegregation that occurred in San Antonio in the early 1960s. With Monday, January 21 being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the actions of Dan Anthony are especially significant in the celebration of the late Martin Luther King Jr.
Working with other restaurateurs, Bob Luby and Earl Abel, Mr. Anthony set his plan in motion. “Dan knew it was the right time to desegregate, to be the first, and the right thing to do, so he got on the phone and called Mr. Luby and Mr. Abel and said that he was desegregating his restaurant that day,” said Chrissy Anthony, wife to Dan and co-founder of Sea Island Shrimp House.
“They said they were right behind him,” Mrs. Anthony continued. “It was that swift and simple—Manhattan Café was the first restaurant in San Antonio to be desegregated.” Ultimately, no sit-in occurred and only one customer complained and never returned, emphasizing that the appropriate action was taken. “Their collective goal as restaurant owners was to feed and nourish members of the community, no matter what their skin color,” said Mrs. Anthony.
“It is a moment of San Antonio history that is poignant for me not only because it is part of my family’s narrative, but it perfectly illustrates how restaurants can make a real impact in the communities we serve,” said Barclay Anthony, CEO of Sea Island Shrimp House and son of Dan and Chrissy Anthony. “It is a message we uphold at Sea Island today.”
Manhattan Café, the landmark restaurant on Houston Street, closed in March 1977 after 66 years of continuous operation. In 1965 Dan, wife Chrissy, and friend Henry Reed decided to launch the Sea Island Shrimp House and it is still in operation. The Anthony family has been in the restaurant business for over 100 years and the tradition continues today with Sea Island Shrimp House and Papouli’s Greek Grill, run by Dan and Chrissy’s son Nick Anthony.
About the company:
Sea Island Shrimp House, a San Antonio icon, has been sourcing and serving the freshest, wild-caught Texas Gulf seafood since opening their first location in 1965. The restaurant’s family-friendly atmosphere, delicious food and affordable prices has made this a San Antonio favorite for more than 47 years.
Family owned and operated from the beginning, the six San Antonio locations serve only premium seafood that feature scratch cooking and a passion for flavor and value. Sea Island Shrimp House is known for the best fresh shrimp and seafood. For more information on their menu, fresh seafood specials, and kids meals, visit their website at http://www.shrimphouse.com. Sea Island Shrimp House and Tiago's Cabo Grille are restaurant brands of Sea Island Development Company, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Their websites are http://www.shrimphouse.com and http://www.tiagoscabogrille.com respectively.
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