AUSTIN (KXAN) - Hill's Cafe on South Congress in Austin has been a gathering place in Austin since 1947. The photos on the walls tell the stories of many significant events happening there. There have been weddings and even visits from world leaders like former President Bill Clinton.
"Everybody always meets here," said Ed Gleason. "I live here so I bring people here."
The food is memorable too. Patrons describe it as a taste of Texas in every way.
"This chicken fried steak is like heaven on earth," said a Hill's customer. "If you're going to be in Texas and do it Texas then you're going to get this chicken-fried steak."
Hill's Cafe is part of Old Austin, and now there are fears it could close. Part-owner of Hill's and radio host Bob Cole unexpectedly admitted that fear on radio station KOKE-FM Thursday.
"So we're at one of those critical points where if there isn't enough money here pretty quickly then we've about run out of options," Cole said.
Cole said he has used his personal savings to keep the restaurant afloat in an effort to preserve history, and he now hopes people who share that goal will make it a point to eat there.
"Austinites are vanguards and appreciate tradition, and if they are and they know there's a reason to make that extra trip down to Hill's once in while, then that will be enough to support it and that'll make it work," said Cole.
"Some of the places that are iconic of course have come and gone," said Hill's customer Jim Cullen. "Thanks to Bob some of them are still around, and we want to do all we can to help support that idea."
Cole said he is mostly concerned about paying his employees and their families that depend on Hill's. He said they too do not want to say goodbye to such an Austin tradition.
"It's not destined to ever make a lot of money, but I just hope it's not destined to ever go away," said Cole.
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