The Silver Caboose was established by the Smith family in 1996. Three generations of our family are actively involved in the daily operation of The Silver Caboose. Bob and Mary Jean Smith’s daughter, Julie is the General Manager and her three daughters, Anna, Mary and Ellen serve in various capacities.
Collierville has been my family’s home all of my life and The Silver Caboose has been my life since 1996.
My daughter, Julie Smith Felton, is the general manager of The Silver Caboose and is the driving force in it’s success. Julie is at The Silver Caboose everyday (7 days a week) and is very famous for her handmade pies and her camaraderie with our wonderful customers which has been invaluable to the success of the restaurant.
Positioning The Silver Caboose on the Collierville’s Historic Town Square was inevitable for us since my grandmother, Beulah Hinton Craig and my father, Ralph G. Hall had businesses on the Historic Square as early as the 1920’s. My father’s business was Hall’s Grocery, later Hall and Everett. That building is now occupied by Hammer Jewelry right next to The Silver Caboose. My grandmother had a mercantile business at the corner of Mulberry and Center Streets known as Hinton and Craig. It is now a business owned by my nephew, Charles Hall and is called Hewlett & Dunn.
I spent 10 years working at the old Knickerbocker restaurant at Poplar and Perkins in east Memphis. It is not there any more but it was an east Memphis icon for 32 years. The owner, Vernon Bell, was a mentor to me not only in the food business but in business practices in general. I owe so much success to him. There is a menu of the Knickerbocker on the wall in The Silver Caboose in the back dining room. Observe the prices in 1962. I knew that when the Knickerbocker’s days ended, I wanted to replicate it in some way, but in 1985 I went into a different direction and established a real estate company here in Collierville called Banyan Tree Realtors which is still ongoing today.
But the notion was still lingering in my mind of opening a restaurant, so in 1996 I did. And as they say “the rest is history”.
How grateful we are to all the wonderful folks who have eaten at The Silver Caboose and continue to do so.
As we have always said, “The Best People in the World Eat at The Silver Caboose because it is the Best “Square Meal” in town”.
Bob Smith is an accomplished rose enthusiast and each year from May to October the restaurant is filled with over flowing bouquets of sweet scented glorious blooms from his rose gardens.