STAFF WRITER LONDON GIBSON
MARBLE FALLS — While a surge of national food chains has hit Marble Falls, two new local restaurants on Main Street might just stanch the franchise flood, or at least keep a local flavor downtown.
Del Rio, run by Russell Buster and partners Greg and Gaye Miller, will sit across the street from Time2Eat on Main, the project of Michael Terry, Andrea Ennis, and Sheila Marsh.
The restaurants will occupy 205 and 204 Main St., respectively.
Buster, the owner of both buildings, said the inspiration to open Del Rio came when the spot was considered for a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise. Buster and his partners hoped to “beat the chains to town” with an authentic, local restaurant.
“I didn’t want to see a Buffalo Wild Wings there,” Buster said. “It just wasn’t what I wanted to see on Main Street yet.”
Del Rio — full name Del Rio Colorado Comida Deluxe — will serve what Buster describes as traditional fare with a Southwestern flair. He said ever since the Wild Horse Grill closed several years ago, Marble Falls has lacked a quality steakhouse.
Time2Eat on Main will be more cafe-style and serve flavor-packed breakfasts and lunches, Terry said. Because of Marsh’s talent in making desserts, Terry said he and his partners are also considering opening on Friday and Saturday nights for people who might want to pop in for some cheesecake and coffee.
Authentic food will be a focus at both Del Rio and Time2Eat on Main. Terry said he’s looking into sourcing local produce and egg providers, while Buster said his restaurant will purchase as much produce as it can from local farmers.
“As much fresh and less processed as we can do, that’s how we want to approach it,” Buster said. “People want to know where their food comes from, and we want to be a part of that.”
Community is also important to the openers of Time2Eat on Main: Even the design of the restaurant was modified to allow for a more open feel.
“We designed the kitchen in an open fashion so we can literally greet every single person as they come through the door,” Buster said. “We want it to be a real personal place where people just enjoy coming to have a good meal.”
Though neither Terry, Ennis, nor Marsh are from Marble Falls originally, they wanted to draw from and highlight the local community in planning the restaurant.
“In creating everything, we tried to stick with local as much as possible,” Ennis said.
Buster has been working with downtown properties for more than 20 years. He estimated that since the early ’90s, he has tackled about 20 projects on Main Street.
“(Main Street) contains the essence of Marble Falls,” Buster said. “It represents our history, primarily, and that’s what is important to me as we go forward.”
Both Terry and Buster anticipate their restaurants will be completed and open this summer. Buster also hinted at future projects to come.
“Main Street will continue to evolve, and we hope to be a central part of our community, our city,” Buster said. “This is only the beginning.”