Historic Wunsche Bros. Cafe Damaged in Fire
Wunche Bros., originally established in 1902 as a hotel and saloon, was damaged by fire early Sunday morning.
Photo by Lars Plougmann via Flickr Creative Commons
A fire at beloved Old Town Spring restaurant Wunsche Bros. Cafe & Saloon destroyed a substantial part of the building. According to television station KPRC, firefighters were called about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
Despite the fire, the Texas Wine & Art Festival that was in progress over the weekend went forward on Sunday as planned.
If there's a bright spot to the situation, it's that the part that suffered the most damage was a newer section that was added in the 1980s. The original Wunsche Bros. building is more than 100 years old, and while it escaped most of the fire damage, the restaurant is shut down for now. There's a legend that co-founder Charlie Wunsche still haunts the cafe. If so, he's probably not too pleased right now.
For many, Wunsche Bros. was THE place to get a burger in Old Town Spring.
Photo by Plinio Sandalio
Smoke damage destroyed many of the old photos along the walls in the old part of the building, and the restaurant is asking for donations to replace them. It's also asking for financial help for more than 40 employees -- many with families -- who are now out of work. An account to collect donations has been set up with Amegy Bank.
The restaurant phone number rings busy, so we've sent a message for owner Nathan Laviage to get more information about the fund and future plans for the restaurant.
In the meantime, Old Town Spring residents and visitors will have to go elsewhere for big, juicy burgers and chicken-fried steaks. The restaurant is posting updates to its Facebook page, so keep an eye on that to keep up with the rebuilding efforts.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.