Phil's Deli was started 1952 in Dallas, Texas on Preston Road at Northwest Highway by Phillip
Perry Miller and Sarah Cantor Miller. Both were Jewish Immigrants from Poland that arrived in
the US as teenagers and met in Brooklyn, NY. After marrying they had one son, Leonard, and
continued to live in Brooklyn and The Bronx until finished raising their son. In 1948 they moved
from New York to Los Angeles and also lived in Miami from time to time. It was on a trip from LA
to Miami that their car broke down in a small town called Dallas.
While waiting for a part to be delivered for their car repair they fell in love with Dallas and
decided to stay. Over the next two decades they opened New York Style Delicatessens on
Preston Road, Central Expressway at Northaven, Downtown, and on Oak Lawn at Bowser.
Oftentimes whenever Celebrities they had known in New York or California came to Dallas they
stopped at the Delis and ate and entertained. There was a local television show filmed at the
Phil's Deli on Preston Road called "Phil's Saturday Night". As one of the only places in town
that opened at 6am and stayed open late until 3am Phil's fast became the hangout of some
local high society party folks as well as some of the more colorful characters of the times. On
any typical visit you could find anyone from Sheriff Bill Decker to District Attorney Henry Wade
to Jack Ruby and his showgirls to some illustrious characters from out of town as well. In fact
reports within the Warren Commission show that Mr. Ruby made several telephone calls from
Phil's Deli on Oak lawn prior to and after the basement incident. Guess who's sandwiches were
in that brown bag in Mr. Ruby's hand when he entered the basement.
Over the years Phil's Delis were the friendly gathering spots of the many family friends of the
Millers made from visits to Sherith Israel, Temple Emanu-el, and the Schepps Community
Centers where their grand children played and swam and shook things up a bit.