Have Your Own Family Dinner In The Original Texas Chain Saw Massacre House

There's no better time to visit the original "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" House than now. The building, which has shifted locations and owners throughout the decades, has undergone a makeover to honor the landmark film in a more public manner. Formerly known as the Grand Central Cafe, the restaurant came under new ownership in November 2022 and is now known as Hooper's, a loving reference to "Texas Chain Saw" director Tobe Hooper.

The Victorian-style house in the original film was originally located in Round Rock, Texas, outside of Austin. The farmhouse property was suitably rural and rickety at the time of the "Texas Chain Saw" shoot in the summer of 1973, but since then the town has developed into a suburb that serves the greater Austin metro area and the site of the house is now a giant development project. Luckily, the house never faced demolition and instead moved to nearby Kingsland in 1998 as part of the historic Antlers Inn complex. There, it found a permanent home as the hotel's railroad-themed restaurant, reflecting the local district's history.

A Sawyer family landmark

When news broke last October that the property was switching hands, there were fears that the "Texas Chain Saw" house was seeing its final days. Even Allen Danzinger, who played Jerry in the film, invited fans to the house for what he called "the last curtain call." Luckily, the new owners have taken the complete opposite route and are doubling down on the building's legacy. Simon Madera, who owns the Taco Flats restaurant in Austin, assured folks that he and his wife Hobie Sasser and co-owners Courtney and Mike Rhodes "are not a development company coming in here to reshape the landscape or bring an absentee-owner mindset." Rather, they're seeking to involve the community more closely in the preservation and celebration of a cinematic landmark.

Of course, customers can still enjoy food and drinks. The menu offers Southern and Tex-Mex options like huevos rancheros, hot chicken, and chicken-fried steak (there doesn't seem to be any head cheese, unfortunately). The real fun, however, is in the cocktail list, which includes such names as the Ripper, the Bloody Marilyn, and the Grandpa Sawyer. There's a framed poster surrounded by cast autographs currently hanging in the bar area, with more memorabilia to come according to the restaurant's Facebook page. Hooper's is also creating an "art installation" with an "inaugural chainsaw" donated by someone from the local community. 

Thankfully, for horror fans everywhere, the memory of Tobe Hooper's slasher classic is stronger in Texas than ever before.