An Iconic Horror House Has Found New Life And Fans Are Overjoyed

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre house is now a restaurant.

By Kevin C. Neece
| Published

The house featured in the original 1974 film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has been a restaurant for years, but under new ownership, the eatery is now embracing its cinematic heritage. Eater reports that the restaurant, which was previously known as the Grand Central Cafe, is now doing more to honor the horror movie that made it famous and led to its preservation in its current location. As long as Leatherface isn’t our waiter, Michael Meyers isn’t the host, and Freddy Kreuger isn’t in the kitchen slicing up meats with his claws, we’re intrigued!

The new version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre restaurant is called Hooper’s, an homage to the original film’s director, Tobe Hooper. There’s no Leatherface steak on the menu, but diners can enjoy specialty drinks connected with the film, such as the Grandpa Sawyer, the Ripper, and the Bloody Marilyn. We assume they can also expect not to have to run from their lives from a guy with a buzzing tree-cutter.

There is also a poster from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre framed with cast autographs, which will be accompanied by more memorabilia in the near future—starting, of course, with chainsaws. The new owners—Simon Madera and wife Hobie Sasser of Taco Flats and Courtney and Mike Rhodes—have planned an art installation comprised of chainsaws donated by local residents, who will commit their tools to the project for one year. It’s quite a change from the restaurant’s previous railroad theme, pulling the dining establishment decidedly out of the realm of common Americana tourism themes.

Hooper, a UT Austin Alumnus, wrote and directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and shot the film in Texas, at the Victorian house’s original location in the town of Round Rock. It was moved and restored in the late 1990s and sits in Kingsland, TX, in the Antlers Inn complex, which its new owners have also renovated. When the sale was announced in 2022, it was feared that developers would come in and disregard the house’s history, but that has not been the case.

Leatherface running from the iconic home

As the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house and the inn are registered as Texas Historic Landmarks, there was no chance of major changes being made to the property. Still, the new owners have shown their clear commitment, not only to the history of the house itself but to the community in which it resides. They have, by all accounts, done right by the property and the area in maintaining the historic buildings while also paying greater homage to the restaurant’s horrific claim to fame.

Though The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was only loosely based on some details of real events, the cachet of being based on a true story helped heighten the film’s profile upon its release. The film has inspired others, such as The Conjuring, to play up their real-world connections, and has had a string of sequels and remakes, with the latest having been released last year. Other horror films, like Halloween, have had similar legacies, and horror remakes like Dead Ringers, ’80s cult film series Witchboard, and more are cropping up all the time.

So, enjoy a Texas Chainsaw Massacre evening at Hooper’s. Just make sure the chainsaws are only on the wall and not behind you!

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