When Terry Gillespie bought riverfront property on the Guadalupe River where an old house washed away from the 1998 flood, he saw an opportunity to open a small restaurant and venue. However, the first small building for the Lone Star Float House & Grill, which opened in 1999, didn't have long to serve guests.

“We bought the property in 1999 and built a small place that was open for three years,” Gillespie said. “The 2002 flood—if you're a local, you know about that flood—was higher than the ceiling fans [on the deck].”

Gillespie said that building also washed away, and he didn't have flood insurance.

“Because everybody said the ’98 flood was a 500-year flood, so why bother?” he said.

Donations and volunteer efforts by friends put the new structure together, reopening in 2003.

“So we built the whole place by borrowing, friends helping [and] donations; like the barn tin on the side of the building was from a chicken barn in Gonzales,” he said.

The grill used in the kitchen—built in the 1970s—was from a former Sip-N-Sup in New Braunfels.

“We always say that grill has a heart and a soul; that's what makes our burgers so good,” he said.

Gillespie said the burgers are all half-pound, never frozen and hand-pressed.

Cuban and fried catfish sandwiches are on the menu along with Texas cheesesteak and more.

There is live music every Sunday and ample room to wade into the Guadalupe River. Lone Star Float House & Grill also rents tubes for floating the river and drops off tubers upstream.

There are also cabins to rent on the property at Oak Hill River Inn, a sister business nearby.

“You can stay here, rent tubes and eat here,” Gillespie said. “You don't have to drive. We take you up [river], and you float back down here.”

830-907-3866. www.lonestarfloathouse.com

Summer season hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily through Labor Day