In 1969, the Austin-American Statesman published an article titled "The Driskill's Fate Sealed" - assuring imminent demolition to make way for a modern glass-façade office building. The Heritage Society of Austin responded by rallying local citizens to save the city of Austin's beloved landmark. Volunteers sold $10 stocks in an unofficial "bake sale," raising more than $900,000 to purchase the property, holding off the wrecking ball by forming the largely citizen-owned non-profit Driskill Hotel Corporation, and had the hotel declared a National Historic Landmark in November 1969, assuring the hotel's lasting presence in the city of Austin.
In the citizen-owned era, The Heritage Society founded the 1886 Lunchroom, successfully operated and staffed for over 20 years by members. Stocked with recipes from the hotel's past (including a stint by Neiman Marcus culinary director and "duchess of Texas cuisine" Helen Corbitt), and their own family histories, the ladies of the Heritage Society operated a venue that to this day is known as "Austin's socializing parlor." Paying homage to the city and Heritage Society's roles, the 1886 Cafe & Bakery opened on July 4, 2002. Today, it remains a respected establishment and favorite Austin bakery for many.
1886 Café & Bakery remains the social gathering place for locals and out-of-town guests alike.
Sun - Thurs 6:30 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 6:30 am - 12:00 am