Another One of Abilene’s Historic Buildings Has Been Completely Destroyed
While I was not in the least bit surprised that the building was completely demolished. The original location of El Fenix Cafe located at the corner of Washington Street and North Treadaway was in need of some serious repairs.
I did learn that the City of Abilene had asked the owner of the building and land to demolish the building because it was a danger to the community. If you had seen it these past couple of years you would have wondered why the building was still standing.
LOOK: Remembering This Old Abilene Legend
Nonetheless, the original location of the first El Fenix Cafe in Abilene had been here for over 85 years. The Garcia and Velez family restaurant is no more. The building at 434 Washinton Street was not always a restaurant either, it was El Fenix Cafe founder Domingo Garcia's family home. They first took the front of the house in early 1937 and converted it into a small yet cozy family restaurant.
As the restaurants' popularity grew so did the dining space inside immigrant Domingo Garcia's home, eventually converting the entire house into the famous Mexican restaurant it became. Today that part of Abilene's history is completely gone now. No word as to what will become of the land at 434 Washington Street Abilene Texas.
In 1999, the El Fenix Cafe grew even more prominent by moving into Burro Alley and occupying the Casa Herrera Tex-Mex Restaurant space. The restaurant closed for the last time in 2020 ending the El Fenix Cafe legacy.
I dined at both locations of El Fenix Cafe in Abilene and the food was delicious. The wonderful dishes are a fading memory now. However, I can remember their specialty days like my Wife's favorite was to go on Fridays for Olivia's Chili Relleno plate I liked their Enchilada Wednesdays. Every day was special at El Fenix Cafe.
To see that empty lot today, I get hungry for their tasty authentic Mexican food. What memories do you have of the Garcia/Velez family restaurant?