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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Episode 17 - The Magnolia Table

April 6, 2018

Chip has always dreamt of opening a breakfast restaurant. A few times throughout our marriage we toyed with the idea of making that dream a reality, but the timing was never right. But when the Elite Cafe, a beloved historic restaurant here in town, shut its doors after almost a 100 years in business, we decided to go for it.

The heart behind this project was to create a space that really cultivates the kind of community and conversation that happens over sharing a meal together. It was a labor of love from start to finish, and now seeing it up and running—we’re just so proud of it!

After about a year and a half of renovating the space, I’m so glad we finally get to show it to you!


We really wanted the look and feel of the restaurant to be timeless. A sort of nostalgic design with character and thoughtful detail. Since this building is a Waco Historical Landmark, the end goal was to honor the building’s rich history, while giving it a fresh update. We were even able to include different historic pieces from the Elite Cafe throughout the space—everything from framing original menus and hanging them throughout, to a wall mural featuring the original Elite Cafe logo over the coffee bar.

This slogan is one that inspired the name of the restaurant. More than anything else, we wanted all people from every background and from every city in the world to know that there is a seat here for them.

We incorporated these hanging leather pouches at each table to serve as a place to store cell phones during the meal. At our house, we keep phones away from the table at mealtimes so we can focus on each other and the conversation around the table and we wanted this to be an option for our guests at the restaurant as well.

Chip had fun coming up with different messages to put up on this sign throughout the renovation process. At one point it said, “Honk once for avocado toast.” This was Chip’s way of taking a poll on whether or not we should serve it at the restaurant. And I’m happy to report that avocado toast is officially on the menu!


To the left of the restaurant is a courtyard where we extended the footprint to make more room for guests waiting on their tables. The highlight of this area is the walk-up window that serves coffee, juice and pastries for you to snack on. I wanted this area to feel like you’re at a cute little European bistro, and since the natural design of the exterior of the restaurant complemented this look perfectly, the end result is exactly what I had hoped for!


The Take Away + Market on the side of the restaurant is a great place to snag a few of our house made favorites that are prepackaged to take on the go—like chicken salad, pimento cheese, and the pastry of the day. You can also grab gifts in here, like one of our diner-style mugs or logo t-shirts.

Chip and I can’t believe Magnolia Table is officially open! I’ll tell you this—we couldn’t have done it without our talented food operations team who helped us bring our vision and our recipes to life, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work they’ve done. I hope you’ll come have a stack of pancakes and experience the restaurant for yourself here in Waco soon. Breakfast is finally ready—come and get it!



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  • Teri
    5:06 pm, April 19, 2018
    We've loved Fixer Upper from the beginning--thanks for sharing your lies and talents with us! If its possible could I get a source for the caramel colored chairs you used for Magnolia Table? We've been searching for kitchen chairs and these would be perfect! Thanks so much!
  • Doreen Flagg Ratoza
    4:42 pm, April 19, 2018
    Hi! I'am over the top in love with all you have done in Waco.
    I will miss Fixer Upper very much. However I do understand the need for your future focus :)
    .....I have an idea though when you're ready for adventure. Your next show should be about "traveling" to other states, discovering new places while you Fix Up homes, schools, etc.
    Please come visit us first :) we live here in Plant City Florida. Matter a fact I shop often at Southern Hospitality for your items.
    I'm very grateful God joined the two of you together and I truly appreciate your kindness and love in sharing your talents with us all. You are always welcome in our home :)
    With all of God's love, Doreen (813) 750-5515
    P.S. (getting ready to purchase 2 Joslin pillows from BedBathnBeyond) :)
  • Kathy
    9:46 pm, April 18, 2018
    Chip and Jo, Thank You for Fixer Upper. Your show has been an inspiration for me. Not only for the design and build aspect, but most importantly, for the strong moral compass you two lived out for all to see! There were so many times my husband and I, empty nesters and grandparents, had absolutely nothing descent to watch on our 900 channel television except your show. We would watch episodes over and over again. Now it has given me the desire to do some major remodeling projects. If only I had you two to help us out. Anyway, I wish you so much happiness and contentment in your new season of life. Enjoy those gifts from God, you do know how fast they grow!! P.S. Jo, pregnancy looks AWESOME on you - cannot believe you are turning the BIG 40? Happy Birthday
  • Ann Landgraf
    10:07 pm, April 17, 2018
    Joanna - Congrats on your growing family. Children are the biggest blessing ever. I watch your house transformations with awe. I have often said that I don't have the 'it' for design, yet you have it in spades. I grew up in Dallas but now live in Michigan. Would you ever consider working farther afield to do a reno? I can offer your family the great lakes during the summer!
  • Linda Snodgrass
    9:49 pm, April 15, 2018
    Awesome show. The best thing of the show is where I agree with Jo. Chip you are back to looking like a REAL man now with that Great Hair Cut. Love your Show.
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