Big Humphrey’s Restaurant

Owner Glenda Vitale (middle) runs Big Humphreyu2019s Restaurant with her children, Joey and Lisa.

Owner Glenda Vitale (middle) runs Big Humphreyu2019s Restaurant with her children, Joey and Lisa.

Big Humphrey’s Restaurant Big Humphrey’s began as a burger restaurant in 1948 before adding Italian dishes to its menu.[/caption]

Jasper Vitale greeted diners with “Hi, neighbor” at Big Humphrey’s Restaurant in Pearland until he died suddenly in January 2013. Today the Vitale family continues the tradition of creating a welcoming environment for its patrons that began when Jasper’s parents opened the original location in 1948.

“People come in as customers and turn [into] friends,” said owner Glenda Vitale, who started working at Big Humphrey’s in 1966 when she married Jasper. “A lot of customers tell us it’s like being at home.”

Big Humphrey’s launched as a burger joint in south Houston and once had as many as five locations in the Greater Houston area, Glenda said. Over time the Vitales added flavors from their heritage in the form of Italian dishes, such as pizza and pasta. The items feature homemade red sauce and bread, which is prepared daily.

The menu also offers a variety of selections named after longtime customers, such as Rick’s Psycho Salad, Pat O’Day’s Triple BLT and Cole’s Pasta. Big Humphrey’s added the items after customers tweaked existing dishes and they became popular, said Lisa Vitale, Glenda’s daughter and restaurant manager.

The Vitales—now on their fourth generation of family employees—have operated Big Humphrey’s since its inception. Lisa said several relatives have worked at the eatery throughout the decades, including her daughter and brother Joey, who is also a manager.

“It gets crazy, but it’s fun [working with family],” Lisa said. “We couldn’t do it without one another and wouldn’t want to do it without each other.”

Glenda and Jasper—who had the street next to Big Humphrey’s named after him about 15 years ago—opened in Pearland in 1986 after deciding to bring the restaurant from south Houston closer to their new home.

“It was the best move we could’ve ever made,” Glenda said. “We just came out here and had all our old friends and customers and made new ones, [too]. It’s been great.”




 

Big Humphrey’s Restaurant Jasper Vitale’s father, Joseph, named his restaurant after the pro wrestling moniker he used. According to Glenda, he signed a contract with Ham Fisher to borrow the nickname from Fisher’s comic book character, Humphrey Pennyworth.
Joseph, who weighed more than 300 pounds and had red hair, wrestled in his home state of Missouri and traveled to Canada, New York and Texas for bouts as well.[/caption]

Brawlin’ big man


Jasper Vitale’s father, Joseph, named his restaurant after the pro wrestling moniker he used. According to Glenda, he signed a contract with Ham Fisher to borrow the nickname from Fisher’s comic book character, Humphrey Pennyworth.

Joseph, who weighed more than 300 pounds and had red hair, wrestled in his home state of Missouri and traveled to Canada, New York and Texas for bouts as well.




5627 W. Broadway St., Pearland
281-485-0392
www.bighmenu.com
Hours: Tue.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.,  Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.