Oldest Cafe in Texas reopens in Huntsville

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Friday, April 28, 2023
Oldest Cafe in Texas reopens in Huntsville
After shutting down during the pandemic, a loyal Cafe Texan customer is preserving its history

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- Cafe Texan has been on the same corner in downtown Huntsville for 87 years, but for the last three its delicious chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy have been on hold.

ABC13's Dave Ward grew up in Huntsville. Cafe Texan was a big part of his growing up years.

"As a kid I would go there often with my father, I would order the trout with tartar sauce and mashed potatoes and English peas for 75 cents," Ward said.

The pandemic shutdown the cafe in early 2020 but Vance Howard is bringing it back. Vance, a former Huntsville Council member and Mayor Pro Tem, is pumping life back into Cafe Texan with a really cool twist.

"When we bought it from John Strickland we decided to bring it back as a restaurant and museum and make it a non-profit. So all the profits that the cafe makes will go to local and state charities," Howard said.

For Vance and his wife Karen it's all about giving back and preserving Cafe Texan history while giving visitors a taste of World History. The Museum collection is a must see. You will find Dave Ward's boots and ABC13 belt buckle in the same room as 16th century Japanese armor, the 31 star flag that flew over Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Presidential campaign, Egyptian artifacts and even Napoleon Bonaparte's pistol. Navy Seal Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell's combat uniform along with his brother Morgan's are on display. Marcus and Morgan both attended Sam Houston St before serving in the military.