Founded in 1984 in New Braunfels, Clear Springs restaurant remains one of the most popular establishments in the area.

This is according to General Manager Harry Kelly, who said that he believes the local catfish hot spot has some of the best menu items around.

This is backed up by the fact that on a recent weekday afternoon, well after lunchtime and well before dinnertime, there was still a wait for a table at the restaurant located at 1692 S. Hwy. 46.

Though the original Clear Springs is from New Braunfels, the restaurant now has three other Texas locations in Tyler, Nacogdoches and Midland.

Kelly said the best sellers at Clear Springs remain the catfish and the fried shrimp, but the eatery offers a litany of grill items that he says are top-notch—from salmon to tilapia, trout and steaks.

As for the restaurant’s popularity, Kelly said the fact that it has been in the community for nearly four decades likely gives it cachet, but the name has clout beyond the city’s borders.

“I hear all the time from people who come from out of town who say they have to stop here at least once,” he said, adding that when he first started working at Clear Springs, the menu included catfish, shrimp and burgers. “Now, we’ve expanded our grill menu, and we’ve actually added a liquor bar three years ago.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant has scaled back to 50% capacity and has dropped items from the menu, and Kelly said that will likely stay the case until the pandemic subsides.

Even with cost-cutting measures in place, Clear Springs remains a popular spot in New Braunfels, and Kelly remains proud of the establishment he has worked at for 30 years this September.

“We’re more than just fried food,” he said. “We have a lot of grilled items. We have a great hamburger. We’ve got some good little margaritas that we’re making right now.”