Since he was 10 years old, Abel worked in the restaurant business where he said he found a passion for the industry and the desire to open his own restaurant.
In pursuit of that dream, Abel studied restaurant management at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. With connections from college, he was able to open his first Schertz location in 1991, which remained open for nearly 25 years.
In 2015, the property moved to new ownership with higher rent requirements, pushing Abel to relocate his restaurant to its current location.
During his time in Schertz, Abel said he has watched the city grow from 6,000 people to nearly 40,000 people and said he aims to expand his restaurant with it.
“We have been blessed,” Abel said. “We are like a community diner. I am always out here helping where I can. We are a gourmet diner at diner prices.”
Customer favorites include clam chowder, chicken-fried steak and catfish.
“Our clam chowder is an all-time favorite, even when it is hot outside,” Abel said.
The diner also opens for breakfast, when customers enjoy omelets and other egg-centered dishes.
Operating a restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic caused Abel to continue socially distancing customers when possible and to have dividers between sections of booths. Abel believes these precautions are vital to earning customer trust and creating a safe environment.
According to Abel, the key to his success is the hard-working staff, customers that come daily and keeping the food familiar to those who keep coming back.
“What sets our food apart is familiarity,” Abel said. “It is not about mastering a recipe; it is about not changing it. We make the same homemade comfort foods that people have come to love. I wanted to do everything homemade with fresh ingredients and give people something that other restaurants just don’t do anymore.”
Despite having a committed group of customers, Abel said he still meets newcomers to the restaurant regularly. He hopes to expand and continue reaching new customers in the area while holding his values of being a place for community and fellowship.
“We enjoy being in this bigger restaurant, and we enjoy what we do,” Abel said. “We don’t want five or six restaurants. We want to build a community in this restaurant.”
17327 I-35, Ste. 200, Schertz
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-8 p.m., closed Sun.