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The Cypress Creek Cafe...Alas

So last time I was in the lobby of our hotel and I had just asked our hostess, Marcy, about the mysterious ruin in the center. You’ll recall I mentioned this some time back. It is a bizarre place. You walk past several well-apportioned, sleek new shops and restaurants...and there, in the middle of it all, is a facade. Just a facade. Just the front part of a building. There’s no behind to it. You can stand in front of it and see the sky and a field through its open windows.

I’ve asked people now and then about it, but no one has ever been able to tell me why the thing is there, or why no one has rebuilt the structure. That last seems like it would be easy, given that there is so much money coming into town, so many new residents, and so much building. But, no, it has just been sitting there empty and forlorn, for ages.

“That,” Marcy told me, “was the Cypress Creek Cafe.”

About the Photos: First, a few shots of the ruins of the Cypress Creek Cafe. Very sad, indeed.

She went on. From what she said, and what I later discovered on the web, the Cypress Creek Cafe was one of the most important institutions in the town. It was founded in 1937, and for decades was the premier restaurant of the area, where everyone went to see and be seen. It was also a kind of unofficial center of the community--in the way that some cafes and restaurants will turn into the heart of a town, more by a kind of organic evolution than design.

To give you an idea of how important the Cafe was, in 2015 this town was hit with serious storms and flooding. You’ll recall that I said the town had seen 400 of its homes simply swept away. Well, the Cafe was one of the refuges for the people of Wimberley during the dark time. It had power, when most of the rest of the town didn’t, and it was to the restaurant that people went in search of food, warmth, and comfort.

So...time passed. By 2015, the Cafe had become the “Cypress Creek Cafe and Buzzard Bar” and the owners were -- Marcy said -- a couple who lived in an apartment in the building directly above the restaurant. They had plans for the place.

And then...2017.

The fire started on the first floor. It went roaring through the building. By the time the smoke detectors went off, the place was already doomed. The owners were able to make it out in time (but not, sadly, their dogs) and had to stand on the ground, shivering in the night while their home and business vanished.

I’ve seen pictures and a video of the fire. It was no small thing. The building was one vast sheet of flame. I suppose, in retrospect, the wonder is that anything was left at all of the building. That even the facade remained was amazing.

I learned from Marcy that there had been attempts to rebuild. The “couple” (I never learned their names) had sold the lot to a company that was interested in rebuilding the restaurant, but apparently there were legal problems and nothing was done.

She noted, though, that there was some hope. There was to be a meeting soon in town about how to move the process forward. Maybe, by the time you read this, the Ruin will finally be on its way back to health and prosperity. But, who can say...

I nodded. Wow, I said. That was quite a story. She agreed.

We talked a bit more about other things -- grandchildren, for one. Then, I thanked her for the information on the Cypress Creek Cafe, and went to our room. Martha had awakened from her nap. I gave her the Diet Coke and told her about my adventures with the cat and what I’d learned about the cafe. She agreed that the tale of the cat was...mildly interesting. And that the cafe was fascinating.

After that, we gathered ourselves up and set out to find dinner. Once more, we knew, it was time to head for a supermarket.

Wine and cheese, and bread were back on the menu.

More to come.

Second, and not sad at all, a recent photo of Martha at a local cafe of which we’re fond.



For information of the Cafe and the fire, see the following news reports:

“Fire destroys popular Cypress Creek Cafe in Wimberley,” by Daniel Gravois, KXAN, Posted: May 30, 2017 / 12:25 AM CDT, Updated: May 30, 2017 / 12:25 AM CDT,

“Popular Hill Country restaurant closed 'until further notice' after fire, explosion,” by Tyler White, San Antonio Express-News, May 30, 2017,

“Beloved Cypress Creek Cafe Consumed by Fire,” By Brandee Brantly | June 12, 2017, Tony Maples Photography, Texas Hill Country News,

“ Wimberley community holds benefit for former employees of Cypress Creek Cafe | 6/2017,” Fox 7 Austin,

Copyright©2023 Michael Jay Tucker

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