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Hill’s Cafe reopens following fire

Matthew Odam

Update: Hill’s Cafe co-owner Ellis Winstanley says Hill’s Cafe has reopened for business. The iconic restaurant served a limited dinner menu last night and a limited lunch menu today, but they hope to be fully operational by Tuesday dinner service. The restaurant also plans to offer its annual Thanksgiving buffet. To make reservations, call 512-851-9300.

Winstanley says the banquet room was lost to the fire and will be rebuilt. The kitchen and dining room were left unscathed, however, as was the restaurant’s massive collection of memorabilia, thanks to some quick work by firefighters who ripped up baseboards to pin plastic sheets over the collection of Austincentric artifacts.

Austin fire crews responded to a fire at Hill’s Café earlier this morning. Nobody was injured in the accidental fire that was determined to be electrical in nature, according to the Statesman’s Claudia Grisales.

The two-alarm fire did significant damage to the roof, part of which has been removed, and water caused damage to the interior of the restaurant.

“Due to quick work of firefighters, the kitchen and main dining area are relatively unscathed,” Austin fire Battalion Chief Palmer Buck said.

The restaurant will be closed until further notice, but majority co-owner Ellis Winstanley told they Statesman that they hoped to reopen by as early as Thanksgiving. The opening date will depend on the city signing off.

“We are hopeful the city will work with us,” Winstanley said.

For the full report from Grisales, including damage estimates, video and statements from ownership, head to