Athens Review, Athens, Texas

November 30, 2013

Almost back

Popular Athens cafe relocating, opening soon

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

Athens — Owners of El San Luis Mexican Cafe wasted no time in securing a new location for the popular mexican restaurant.

The restaurant that was lost to a fire just over a week ago will move to 205 E. Murchison St. across from the Henderson County Justice Center. The shopping center is the previous location for Ochoa's Mexican Restaurant.

Ochoa's relocated to a location on Highway 175.  

The sign on the door of the former home of Ochoa's reads, “El San Luis Coming Soon.”

According to an employee's Facebook post, the restaurant should be open by next week. The employee said she was excited because she missed her customers.

El San Luis was previously located on Pinkerton Street before it was destroyed by fire on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

At the time of the fire, Athens Fire Chief John McQueary said the building was totaled by the fire he believed it started in the kitchen.

McQueary said when Athens Fire Department arrived on scene they saw flames through the roof of the building. Because of the early hour, no employees were in the restaurant at the time the fire was reported.

Lupe Rincon, owner of the building, said the investigation into the cause of the fire is complete. Rincon said the report indicates the cause as undetermined.  

Adjoining buildings to the restaurant were spared damage.

Rincon said he wants to rebuild, but is waiting on the insurance company.

“I wanted the same tenants in the building,” he said. “If they wanted to stay I would build to suite their needs.”

Rincon said if El San Luis does not move back into the location, he will make other arrangements.

He said he had not talked to the tenant, but was aware they had leased the building on Murchison St.

“It was a good location for the restaurant,” Rincon  said. “I was happy with those tenants, I know the community misses the restaurant.”  

The current owners of the mexican restaurant had learned the building for over five years.

El San Luis Mexican Cafe was known as much for the atmosphere as it was for the Tex-mex cuisine.

The Athens Daily Review could not reach the owners of El San Luis for information about their plans to re-open the restaurant.