Visitors to the Canyon Lake area looking for a old-school country cafe can find everything they need at Startz: chicken-fried steak and eggs for breakfast, enchiladas for lunch, and hamburger steak with onions and gravy for dinner. And if you're around on a Friday night, stop by between 4-8pm for Catfish Night, fried or grilled served with cole slaw, pinto beans, and hush puppies.
Note: Startz accepts cash and check only.
Johann Startz came over from Germany with Prince Solms in 1844, looking for a better life for his family. After landing in Indianola, Texas, they made their way to what is now New Braunfels. Johann's son, Heinrich, his wife Louisa and their twelve children settled a homestead of 160 acres near Tom Creek. Their son, Gustav, born in 1864, married Marie and they had five children. In 1922, their son Curt, married Alice Schlameus from the Cranesmill community. Together, they lived on and worked 500 acres in the same area.
In 1946, the couple left their place on Tom Creek and bought a general store with two gas pumps, owned by Bruno Eibel. They lived toward the back of the store and Alice ran the front while Curt worked for the county. The store was stocked with milk, beer, soda water, dried sausage, kerosene, tobacco, fresh eggs, hardware, dried goods, cloth wrapped cheese, rock candy on a string, a pickle jar and anything else the community could need. Alice ran the store everyday from 7:30 am until 10 pm, serving homemade chili and burgers straight out of her kitchen.
Dr. Duffin, a regular and friend, made a painting of the couple and the store. On it he wrote 'Startzville, Paradise Valley of Comal County. Population, same. Elevation, unchanged. Temperature, delightful.' And the name Startzville stuck.
Curt passed away in 1959. In 1960, Alice got help from her son James and his wife Lorine. As construction began on Canyon Dam, demand for good cooking began to grow. In 1963, Ames and Lorine added on to the store and kitchen. In 1971 a meeting room was added. The Startzville store has since served as county polling station, post office and meeting place.
Alice Startz lived to be 85, at which time, the bar, pool tables and cafe remained. Lorine Startz, also known as Mamo, dedicated her life to her family, the cafe, her animals and the community. Lorine ran the cafe from 1965 until her passing in 1997. Her husband, James Sr., passed on several years later.
Operation of the cafe, since 1997, has continued on by Lorine's granddaughter, Monica Startz Wetz. The tradition stays strong through family, friends, devoted employees and valued customers. With it's rustic charm, Startz Cafe is a down home place where you can get a home cooked meal, relax a bit and see a friendly smile.