Are you ready to see their fixer upper?
On Tuesday night’s episode of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ popular HGTV show, the expecting couple documented the shocking transformation behind their newly-opened breakfast joint in their hometown of Waco, Texas.
The idea for their restaurant began with a piece of real estate for sale at the site of Waco’s oldest restaurant, Elite Cafe. Chip revealed one of his lifelong dreams was to own a breakfast restaurant (his other dream was to own a motorcycle, but she shut that idea down quickly). At first, Joanna was skeptical of diving into the restaurant industry, but after they visited the 97-year-old building, she fell in love with its history and took Chip’s dream project under her wing.
As part of the restaurant’s transformation, the couple wanted to pay homage to the original diner’s history by using some of their antique logos and menus as decoration, and by keeping the exterior structure in tact (with a few cosmetic updates.) Instead of getting rid of the Elite Cafe’s goods, they auctioned off most of the memorabilia and donated the money to a local charity.
On demo day, Chip removed all the old booths, the dated light fixtures, and interior beams that made the restaurant feel enclosed. The restaurant’s slogan is, “Where everyone has a seat at the table,” so they tried to keep this theme by turning the dining rooms into large gathering spaces with communal tables and small leather pouches for people to put their phones in when dining.
“We’re really hoping that people come to the restaurant and drop their cell phones in these little pockets and really talk to each other and hang out,” Chip told his daughter during the episode.
Through all of the construction, this Fixer Upper episode was different in that viewers were able to see what goes on behind the scenes in Chip and Joanna’s business decisions. They tested recipes, designed logos and chose a restaurant name. Chip originally suggested “Chip’s Kitchen,” but when Joanna suggested “Magnolia Table,” they knew it was right.
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“How fun is that that we agreed?” Chip said. “I thought for sure it had to have Chip in it, but I can live with Magnolia Table.”
In true Chip and Joanna fashion, the episode was full of banter—particularly about avocado toast.
“Baby don’t jack around and make this a fru-fru place,” Chip said.
“I won’t,” Joanna promised. “It will be a good balance.” Immediately afterward, she suggested avocado toast be on the menu.
“I knew you were going to do this,” Chip said. “My first marquee is going to be ‘If you want avocado toast, you’re not welcome.’ That’s disgusting, babe. Nobody wants avocado on their toast.”
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Avocado toast eventually did end up on the menu, along with Joanna’s homemade biscuits with strawberry butter. The restaurant also has a patio, which the couple transformed into a coffee, pastries and juice bar, where customers can wait on a table inside or sit for a quick bite. They also converted one of the cafe’s old rooms where Elvis once dined while he was stationed at Fort Hood, into a take away area that doubles as a market, where you can buy Magnolia products, flowers, or pre-made cold sandwiches and drinks.
Magnolia Table officially opened its doors on Monday, March 26, and—as everything is with Joanna Gaines—it’s highly Instagrammable.