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!
INSIDE THE RESTAURANT
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!
TAKE AWAY + MARKET
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!