The historic Elite Cafe will become Magnolia Table under the ownership of Chip and Joanna Gaines, who will serve breakfast, lunch and brunch at the restaurant when renovation is completed by year’s end.
Joanna Gaines, co-star of the hit reality show “Fixer Upper,” wrote of the name choice Tuesday in her blog under the heading “Our Restaurant Update.”
“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,” she wrote. “I love getting to bring all of the design details together.”
The Gaineses bought the Elite Cafe shortly after it closed last year, after almost 100 years in business. The restaurant first operated in downtown Waco and later on the city’s traffic circle. Former owner Creed Ford III said at the time that competition from new restaurants and a disappointing bottom line forced the closure.
Many traveling between Dallas and Austin made the Elite a regular midway stop, where they could dine on steaks, burgers and salads.
Shortly after Ford bought the restaurant in 1999, it was closed for about a year for extensive remodeling.
“Our No. 1 goal was to make it profitable, and that became more of a struggle,” Ford said at the time. “This was not a move made in haste but after a lot of thought.”
The Gaineses’ main attraction in Waco, Magnolia Market at the Silos, has become a tourist destination attracting between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors a week.
“Chip and I truly can’t wait to share this place with y’all,” Joanna Gaines wrote of Magnolia Table on Tuesday. “We will occasionally share some updates on social media, so keep a lookout for pictures of the progress!”
The marquee outside the building reads, “We’ll let you know when breakfast is ready.”
Magnolia spokesman Brock Murphy had not returned email messages about the projected opening day by Tuesday evening.
But Joanna Gaines, in her blog, said they plan an opening by the end of the year.
She wrote that the Elite has been recognized as a Texas historic landmark, and the renovation is being carried out with that in mind.
“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,” she wrote. “And Chip is rocking and rolling on the construction side of things.”