obit: Rose Elizabeth Slovacek Stivers
- Rose Stivers: Burgers, ambience made eatery special
A galaxy of stars, from Beatty to Fearing, dined at humble spot
09:18 PM CST on Tuesday, December 2, 2003
If you could find the place, you'd usually come back.
Dean Fearing, chef of The Mansion on Turtle Creek, remembers his first visit.
"The first day I walked in there as a young cook in Dallas and I had my first Rosie's hamburger, my whole life changed," he said. "When I walked in there, I walked back in time. I thought, 'This is Dallas in the '30s, '40s, and it's never changed.' "
For 63 years, Rose Elizabeth Slovacek Stivers served up some of the best and most popular burgers in Dallas at Rose's Bluebonnet Sandwich Shop.
Mrs. Stivers died Monday of natural causes at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. She would have been 89 on Wednesday.
A rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Restland Funeral Home's Memorial Chapel, 9220 Restland Road in Dallas. Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 6306 Kenwood Ave. in Dallas. She will be buried in Restland Memorial Park.
Mr. Fearing said Rose's burgers had a special texture from pressing the patty on the grill. He took fellow chefs to the hamburger stand just to see their expressions.
Mr. Fearing loved the stand's atmosphere, especially the abundant signs with house rules: keep your feet off the furniture and clean up after yourself.
"We got to know each other as I got to be chef of The Mansion," he said. "It was just a great relationship."
U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer was another regular at Rose's.
"It wasn't like a restaurant at all," Judge Buchmeyer said. "You entered through the back door, and her dog was always out there."
Judge Buchmeyer went looking for Rose's after reading an article about it.
"I drove up and down the street still trying to find it," Judge Buchmeyer said. "I finally got out and walked and found it."
When he entered the establishment, he said, Mickey Mantle was in the dining room eating a burger.
Mrs. Stivers and her burger shack were paradoxical hosts. Everyone was welcome, but she didn't want her address publicized. She also avoided being photographed, her family said.
Diane George of Plano said her aunt tried to keep her business at a manageable level.
Mrs. Stivers advertised her business several times but didn't like the crowds of customers who had to wait in line, her niece said. Controlling her customer count also made Rose's a favorite place for celebrities to quietly enjoy a burger or entertain friends and family, Ms. George said.
Mrs. Stivers made breakfast for Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway during the filming of Bonnie and Clyde in the 1960s.
"They [the film crew] had their own catering truck, but most of them ate with me," Mrs. Stivers said in 2000. "When they were filming, Warren sweat a lot and he couldn't keep his T-shirts laundered enough so I would dry them off with a hot iron."
Mrs. Stivers' husband, James, who played a butcher in the movie, died in 1988, her niece said.
Rose's was an unlikely spot for the stars. The frame building is difficult to find, even if you knew the address 4515 Greenville Ave. which she kept secret for years.
But the street address wasn't all that useful in finding the restaurant, which was best entered from an alley near Greenville Avenue and Yale Boulevard.
Born in Alma, Texas, Mrs. Stivers was the daughter of immigrants from Czechoslovakia. After graduating from high school in Alma, she worked as a nanny in Dallas. She lived briefly in New York before returning to Dallas, where she took a job at the eatery. Mrs. Stivers later bought the restaurant and renamed it Rose's Bluebonnet Sandwich Shop.
The future of the restaurant has yet to be decided, her family said.
In addition to a host of nieces and nephews, Ms. Stivers is survived by brother Henry Slovacek of Whitewright, Texas, and sisters Ala Sedlacek of Dallas and Emma Hrbacek of Ennis.
Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News, The (TX) - December 3, 2003
Deceased Name: STIVERS ROSE ELIZABETH SLOVACEK.STIVERS, ROSE ELIZABETH SLOVACEK. Founder and owner of "Rose's" Bluebonnet Sandwich Shop for over 60 years.Born on December 3, 1914 in Alma, TX and passed away on December 1, 2003 in Dallas, TX.Survived by brother, Henry Slovacek; sisters: Edith Sedlacek and Emma Hrbacek; 14 nieces and nephews; along with 4 generations of nieces and nephews.A Rosary Service will be held on Wednesday, December 3, 2003 at 6:00 PM at Restland's Memorial Chapel with visitation to follow. Services will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, December 4, 2003 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Restland 972-238-7111 restlandfuneralhome.com
Quick (Dallas, TX) - December 3, 2003
Deceased Name: Rose Elizabeth Slovacek Stivers: Owner of Greenville burger shop diesFor 63 years, Rose Elizabeth Slovacek Stivers consistently served up some of the best and most popular hamburgers in Dallas.Her customers were her family. Rose's Bluebonnet Sandwich Shop offered not only a juicy burger, but a dose of quirky charm, frozen in a less hectic time.Stivers died Monday of natural causes at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. She would have been 89 today."The first day I walked in there as a young cook in Dallas and I had my first Rosie's hamburger, my whole life changed," said Dean Fearing, chef of The Mansion on Turtle Creek.The future of the restaurant at Greenville and Yale has yet to be decided.DMN