Part of the Austin community for more than 65 years!
Charlie Goodnight rode bareback from Illinois to Texas when he was nine years of age. He was hunting with the Caddo Indians beyond the frontier at thirteen, launched into the cattle business at twenty, guiding Texas Rangers at twenty-four, blazing cattle trails nearly two thousand miles at forty, and at forty-five dominating nearly twenty million acres of range country in the interest of order. At sixty he was recognized as possibly the greatest scientific breeder of range cattle in the west. At ninety he was an international authority on the range industry. More on Charlie Goodnight can be found throughout the newly opened Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas.
The chuckwagon, invented by Charlie Goodnight, was the first restaurant known to the cowboy on the cattle drive. It was from this chuckwagon that the Charlie Goodnight tradition of fine steaks began.
Over the years Hill’s Cafe has been flooded and has burned, but Hill’s continues to tell the story of one of the greatest traditions of Texas.
The Goodnight family built a 20-seat coffee shop next to the Goodnight Motel (established 1941) on South Congress, which was then Old U.S. 81 or The Old San Antonio Highway. It was opened with partner Sam “Posey” Hill, hence the name Hill’s Cafe. The Goodnight’s bought out Mr. Hill in 1957. Through out the years, the cafe complex has grown to accommodate nearly 500 people.
After 54 years of serving the public, Boomer Goodnight and the Goodnight family have passed the torch to Austin radio personality and community leader Bob Cole. Bob’s passion for South Austin and his commitment to the preservation of it’s heritage is a “natural fit” with the Goodnights that insures Hill’s Cafe lives up to its reputation.
A visit to Hill’s Cafe has always been an investment in the true and cultured heritage of Austin, Texas Until you have been to Hill’s Cafe, you cannot legitimately consider yourself a true Austinite.