Oldest original café in Texas shuts down due to COVID-19

HUNSTVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- The oldest cafe in Texas, still in its original location, is closing its doors for good due to COVID-19.

Cafe Texan was a staple in Huntsville for 83 years. Owner John Strickland tells ABC13 he closed when the pandemic started and couldn't afford to make the repairs needed to reopen.

ABC13 featured the restaurant in the "cool spaces" series in 2018, and ABC13 Anchor Emeritus Dave Ward remembers the restaurant well.

He grew up in Huntsville as a child in the 1940s. He said he remembers it like it was yesterday.

"Many Sundays we would go to the Cafe Texan after he had preached the gospel for lunch," Dave said. "My favorite lunch item was fried tenderloin of trout with tartar sauce, English peas and mashed potatoes for 75 cents."

Dave said he also had his first job in journalism outside the cafe. He sold the Houston Chronicle newspaper to the restaurant's patrons for a nickel a piece.

The owner has now sold the building and the buyer plans to turn the space into a museum and sandwich shop.

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