Vermillion Restaurant and Watering Hole

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Vermillion Restaurant and Watering Hole

Our Story

In 1933, Mr. and Mrs. Vermillion first arrived in the sleepy little border town that was Brownsville. Early in 1934, the Vermillions bought and cleared land at the intersection of what is now Boca Chica Boulevard and Paredes Line Road. Soon thereafter, a small flip front hamburger stand was opened on this same location. A hard-working, no-nonsense man in tough times, Mr. Vermillion soon earned a reputation as a man who would sell you a cold beer and a real good hamburger, but who would allow no "excess liberties" among his meager clientele. In the late 40's Mr. Vermillion, due to ill health, personally sought some enterprising individual who could continue the traditions he had begun.

The Davidsons

That individual was G.L. "Gib" Davidson. Mr. Davidson, true to tradition, continued the ways of "good food, a cold drink and no nonsense". Under his direction over the years, the Vermillion became rather a landmark eating and social establishment in Brownsville. In 1971, Mr. Davidson handed over the operation to his son, Daniel Davidson.

Passing the Torch

Before Dan Davidson passed the reins of Vermillion Restaurant & Watering Hole to longtime manager George Perez, he fired him. It happened many years ago, of course. Davidson found out that Perez, who’d come to work for the restaurant in 1980 as a 13-year-old dishwasher, had been falling behind on his studies. “I fired George during high school, because his grades were not doing so well, Davidson said. “He was always a great employee here, no problem, but I heard that his grades in high school were failing. I said you can come back when your grades are better.”

Perez was washing dishes again in two months, and over the years rose through the ranks: salad prep, assistant cook, cook, busboy, waiter, assistant manager and, finally, manager. On Jan. 4, Davidson, who was born and raised in Brownsville, officially transferred ownership to Perez, also born and raised in Brownsville.

Perez knows the restaurant inside and out. He’s been managing it for years and, in fact, has never worked anywhere else. His mother, Esther, has worked there since 1968, said Rachel Davidson, Dan’s wife.

“George has always known Vermillion growing up when he was a child, because his mother worked here,” she said.

The Vermillion Philosophy

The Vermillion, wishes to take this opportunity to say "Thank You!" to all our past, present, and future customers. The Vermillion, for 85 years, has operated under the philosophy of offering good food and good service at a good price. Not fancy, just good. There are many of our old-time customers who will undoubtedly verify this. To those individuals whom have yet to try our food, we invite you!

Confidently, as you visit "our place" you will find the food as we advertise it - "Not Fancy, Just Good!" And enjoy the personal, old fashioned service that we strive to give. In a continuing effort to serve you better, we invite you to feel at home at the Vermillion - get to know the people who serve you - we want to know you better, too. After all, we have 85 years of tradition to uphold, and giving you good food and good company in the best way to do that.

Thank you and enjoy yourself


Monday: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM

Tuesday: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM

Wednesday: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM

Thursday: 11:00 AM - 11:30 PM

Friday: 11:00 AM - 11:30 PM

Saturday: 11:00 AM - 11:30 PM

Sunday: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM


Contact Information

2081, Zaragoza Street, Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas, 78521, United States
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