GATESVILLE — A construction contractor began razing a 22-year-old, landmark restaurant to make room for a new Stripes convenience store.
In 1991, Andy Lella opened Andy’s Restaurant — as it continued to be known even after its name changed to The Stockyard Steakhouse — at the corner of U.S. Highway 84 and Business 36.
When Gatesville voters legalized the sale of beer and wine in the city last year, the Stripes convenience store chain made Lella an offer for the prime location.
The new store will sell alcoholic beverages, Lella said.
“We will open a new Andy’s Restaurant on Main Street in Gatesville in March,” Lella said, although he has not yet decided on the specific location.
The new Andy’s will be “more modern, more efficient and smaller” than the original, he said, but will have the same kitchen staff preparing the same menu.
The new restaurant will not serve beer and wine, Lella said.
The old eatery was a popular meeting place for local civic clubs, hungry ranchers, church-goers, bikers, locals and travelers young and old for more than two decades.
Coryell County artist Jon Brown painted a mural on three inside walls of the restaurant depicting the courthouse square.
Several local residents, including Lella, were featured in the painting.