William Ford Restaurant / Ford Brothers Cafe – Third

 915-1/2 E. Third Street, William Ford Restaurant/Ford Brothers Cafe, c.1920; 1927. The first building on this lot, a residence at 915 E. Third, was built about 1915. Around 1920 this building, at 915-1/2 E. Third, was built and used for a time as a residence. In late 1926, brothers William and Frank Ford bought the property. They both lived in the adjacent house and renovated 915-1/2 E. Third for use as a cafe. William Ford, formerly a janitor at the Neil P. Anderson Building, operated the restaurant while Frank continued to work as an elevator operator at the Floyd J. Holmes Building (CBD 25). About 1930 both brothers became involved in the restaurant, and its name was changed to Ford Brothers Cafe. An institution in this African-American neighborhood, the cafe operated until the mid-1960s. This narrow, false-fronted shotgun building was the quintessential representation of an old fashioned neighborhood cafe. The building has, unfortunately, been demolished, but this survey listing is retained for documentary purposes.

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