Assortment of artifacts

The Cafe Texan Announces Grand Re-Opening

The oldest running cafe in Texas will open its door to the public May 15, 2023 after 2020 closure

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS – April 26, 2023: The oldest running café in Texas, the Café Texan, is set to reopen to the public after closing its doors in 2020 due to the pandemic. The café has since undergone extensive reconstruction and will reopen as a non-profit café and a museum, a concept of the new owner and Huntsville native, Vance Howard.

Since 1936, Walker County residents and visitors have frequented the café. Vance Howard purchased the historic building from John Strickland, the previous owner of 24 years, with the original intention of replacing the café with a museum. However, to honor Strickland and all the years he himself spent visiting with friends and family at the café, he felt passionate about also bringing the café back to the community.

The cafe will reopen with an updated menu, serving farm-to-table style breakfast and lunch daily, and dinners on special occasions or for private events. The chef, Tom Mangos, is the former chef of Flint Creek Steakhouse and the Cherokee Casino and Hotel in West Siloam Springs, OK.

“Tom is a great chef and manager. We are excited to share his menu and serve the meals he has curated for the café,” says Howard.

The museum will exhibit an array of artifacts Howard has collected over the years. The artifacts are eclectic and will hold items from the early Egyptian civilization to even Napoleon’s pistol. The museum will also honor long-time legends of Huntsville including U.S. Navy Seal Marcud Luttrell and the longest running newscaster in history, Dave Ward, of Chanel 13 ABC.

Howard has employed Savanah Davis as the museum’s curator. She had currently been working for the Howards as a receptionist, when he learned of her expertise and interest in history and artifacts. “Her knowledge of the artifacts will provide visitors an enhanced educational experience,” says Howard.

Giving back to the community is important to Vance and Karen Howard. His decision to decision to make the company a non-profit was easy. The Café Texan not only provides a space for locals to eat, drink, and learn, it also provides jobs to local Huntsvillians. Under the Vance and Karen Howard foundation, all proceeds of the café and museum will be donated to local and state charities.

“Preservation of history, giving back to the community, and honoring those who charted the path before us are some of the core values of the Café Texan. We are extremely excited about the opening of the café and museum,” says Howard. “This has been a true passion project. I wanted to give the city of Huntsville a memorable space to congregate and enjoy pieces of art and history I have collected over the years.”