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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Our Restaurant Update

June 20, 2017

Chip and I hope you are enjoying your summer and getting some good down time with family and friends. We wanted to write to catch you up on one of our biggest projects of the summer: getting our restaurant across the finish line! Opening a breakfast joint has always been something that Chip’s been interested in – and it’s been so fun to watch how excited he has been about the entire process.

People always say the restaurant business is a beast – and we believe that, we aren’t naive to the fact that this is all new to us – but we are genuinely thrilled that we get the opportunity to restore a Waco treasure into something new.

Magnolia Restaurant Update

After it closed its doors in 2016, we purchased the old Elite Cafe. It had been a Waco icon for nearly 100 years, and we couldn’t let a place with such a rich history be forgotten. Our family has so many great memories from Sunday brunches at the Elite, and judging by the walls on the inside of the building (which were lined with framed photos representing the restaurant’s past) I’m convinced that this place holds at least one memory for nearly everyone in Waco, Texas.

In light of all of that, we don’t take this renovation and restoration project lightly. We want everyone, whether you’re part of the building’s past or not, to walk in and instantly feel the rich history of it.

We’ve spent a good amount of time finalizing the design of the new restaurant- from carefully choosing finishes, textures, and paint colors, to designing the tables, chairs, and light fixtures. I love getting to bring all of the design details together. The building was actually recognized as a historic landmark about 20 years ago, which essentially ensures that aspects of the original character stay intact. Figuring out how to restore the building and seamlessly incorporate new and creative design elements into the mix while staying true to the original features has been one of my favorite parts of the design process.

And Chip is rocking and rolling on the construction side of things. Of course there have been a few setbacks along the way (as there are with every construction project), but we’re on the home stretch! We are setting our sights on opening at the end of this year. Fingers crossed, everyone.

Now for my favorite part of the whole project—the name! We want the name of our restaurant to convey the idea that all are welcome here. Our hope is that when you step into this place, you know that everyone has a seat at our table.

With that said, the name of our restaurant will be: Magnolia Table

And now for the menu…. this has been Chip’s favorite part. Ok, who am I kidding, it’s probably been mine too. I’m not complaining about eating a few extra bites of the homemade biscuits (and our crafted jams and butters) during all of this recipe perfecting. I joked that I had just about recovered from the sugar coma from the recipe development phase during the opening of Silos Baking Co., and now we’re starting all over again with Magnolia Table, but trust me, no one is complaining about that.

Magnolia Table will be serving breakfast, brunch & lunch, so in addition to Chip’s favorite breakfast items, you will also find his famous ham sandwich on the menu. A couple of the crowd favorites here at the office are the Farm eggs benedict, the Gaines Brothers Burger, and of course our homemade pies!

Chip and I truly can’t wait to share this place with y’all. We will occasionally share some updates on social media, so keep a lookout for pictures of the progress!

A brief history on the Elite Cafe, because legacies are worth sharing:

Historical facts were provided by an article “The Elite Cafe” by Amanda Sawyer on historyofwaco.org. Photos were provided by The Texas Collection, Baylor University.


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  • Tiffany Kunkel
    4:50 pm, February 17, 2018
    Came to Waco for our staycation for Valentines. A little disappointed Magnolia Table wasn't open. Please let me know when you open so I can plan another trip.
  • Pam
    4:17 pm, February 17, 2018
    Coming to Waco April 25 and 26, 2018. Please let us know if you'll be open and if we need reservations. Thanks!
  • Barbara
    9:15 am, February 16, 2018
    Coming to Waco on June 1st or 2nd can't wait to visit your town and restaurant.
  • Jonathon
    10:04 pm, February 15, 2018
    Coming next week (Feb 22-25) and hoping we will be able to enjoy MT!
  • Natalie
    6:19 pm, February 14, 2018
    My husband and I are coming to visit Magnolia for our anniversary first week of April. Will you be open by then or will reservation be needed.
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