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NEW BIZ: Hooper’s fully open in Kingsland ‘Chain Saw’ house

Hooper's restaurant in Kingsland, Texas

The front door of Hooper’s in Kingsland leads into the newly renovated 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre'-inspired restaurant. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Hooper’s restaurant in Kingsland officially opened Wednesday, Jan. 4, after an extensive cosmetic and culinary makeover. The business replaces Grand Central Cafe in the latest phase of a series of planned changes for the property at 1010 King Court, which is under new ownership. 

The restaurant gets its name from the late, great horror director Tobe Hooper, who is most well known for the “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” movie. Hooper’s is housed in an old Victorian home that was used as the main set for the 1974 cult classic.

New owners Courtney and Mike Rhodes and Simon Madera and wife Hobie Sasser acquired The Antlers Inn, Grand Central Cafe, and surrounding property in November. With the completion of Hooper’s, they have plans to remodel the bar and coffee shop, update rooms at the inn, establish a central lawn to tie together the entire property, and build a steak and seafood restaurant nearby. 

“We’re believers in simplicity,” Madera told “Let’s offer what people are looking for, but in a pragmatic way.”

The menu at Hooper’s is straightforward and Southern-inspired with a few twists, according to Madera. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served, and a weekend brunch is in the works. 

Hooper's restaurant in Kingsland, Texas
Hooper’s is housed in an old Victorian home that was once used as the set for ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ movie. The dining rooms are filled with light from enormous antique windows. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Madera described the restaurant as “fast-casual.” Diners can order a quick bite from the counter or dine in.

When it comes to decor, Madera and his partners kept things simple, while still paying homage to the home’s horror past.

“We leaned into the whole ‘Hooper’s’ concept,” he explained. “We’re not massive horror movie fans, but we embraced it after getting in touch with the fanbase and locals.”

Hooper’s is the first phase in a larger-scale plan to revamp the entire property. 

“We want to be that center park for people to come and hang out,” he said. “Even if you don’t shop here, it can be a city square.”

The planned central lawn will act as a community space as well as a staging area for future events on the property. Madera mentioned live music, holiday festivals, and more as part of the master plan. 

Hooper’s is expected to employ between 15 and 20 workers in the slow season, but Madera predicts the collective businesses on the property could employ up to 100 people in the future.