PHOTO: The neon cowboy at Nutty Brown Café will not be waving goodbye any time soon. Despite the restaurant and venue property being sold, the Nutty Brown Café will continue with business as usual, management says. COURTESY PHOTO
by ASHLEY SAVA
NEAR DRIPPING SPRINGS — Months after swirling speculation that the property where the popular Nutty Brown Café sits was sold, the new landowners recently confirmed the rumors are true. According Mike Farr, Nutty Brown owner, the new landowner is H-E-B.
The San Antonio-based grocery chain closed on the 65-acre property along Hwy. 290, which includes the 20 acres where Nutty Brown Café and Amphitheatre is located, last week.
Despite the real estate deal, the iconic restaurant and music venue on U.S. 290 will not be closing any time soon. Farr said H-E-B told him the business could remain on the property as long as he wanted, so Nutty Brown will remain operational.
H-E-B released a statement on May 13 saying, “The Nutty Brown Café will continue with their operations and Texas Country music concert series. We have no plans to develop the property at this time.”
So why would H-E-B want to purchase property that they aren’t planning on using?
“They’re not doing it for nothing,” Terese Peabody, a broker associate at Stanberry & Associates said. “There is some kind of financial gain there. They are thinking ahead.”
She said that it’s possible that H-E-B is monitoring the area to see if it’s going to increase in population enough to justify putting an H-E-B there in the future.
“H-E-B is always building and expanding,” she said. “Dripping Springs ISD is still a 4A school district, so they might be waiting to see if Dripping continues to grow.”
“Prior to the acquisition of the land, they reached out to me, they made sure that I knew I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted,” Farr said. “H-E-B is unbelievably cool to work with.”
Farr, who has spent more than 13 years at the business, said he’s noticed the explosion of growth around the area over time, and expected this might happen.
“I knew the land would be sold,” Farr said. “With all the growth that happened out here I knew that it was just a matter of time.”
ASHLEY SAVA reports for the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.