September 24, 2022 10:03 pm

Posted: 26.9.2015 19:26


On March 29, 2015 At 3:55am fire crews had just returned from a motorcycle crash on FM 2920 when an alarm came in that a commercial building was on fire in Old Town Spring. Not even out of the trucks they raced to the fire. Enroute the notes came in on their data terminals giving the name of the business of the 113 year old Wunsche Cafe.

They arrived to find heavy smoke and heavy fire in the new section of the cafe and immediately went to work to save the building. Klein, Needham Road, South Montgomery County, The Woodlands, Ponderosa and Aldine Fire Departments were also called to assist.

As crews attacked the west side wall from the outside others entered the building. When a rear door was opened as crews entered flames rolled out and could be seen rolling overhead. It didn’t stop the more than fifty firefighters as they met the flames head-on and went to work shutting it down before it traveled to the old original building.

Across the street stood a man in a suit and tie which looked very much out of place for the hour. His name was Anthony Bonilla. He was a limo driver who was traveling along West Hardy to pick up a customer when he saw the smoke. He said at first he thought it was smoke from a train which just passed by but then after taking a second look realized it was the Cafe and called 911. He said at first it was just a lot of smoke bet just before firefighters arrived the flames started to erupt from the building. Very few vehicles travel West Hardy at 4am in the morning on a Sunday. If Bonilla would not have spotted it and called it in, it could have been much worse.

Crews were finally able to stop the blaze. The new section of the building suffered extensive interior damage from fire. The old original suffered heavy smoke damage.

Fire hoses covered almost every main street in Old Town Spring as traffic was rerouted out of the area.

At daylight the building remained standing as it has since 1902.

A placard on the front of the building was undamaged showing the Official State Historical Commission Historical Medallion. Below it is a plaque which reads: “This building was constructed in 1902 by one of Springs earliest families, the Wunsches, who came here from Germany in 1846. Built to accommodate railroad workers. The Wunsche Brothers Saloon and Hotel , later known as the Spring Cafe has served as a community gathering place throughout it’s history. The structure which exhibits a turn of the century commercial detailing is Springs oldest existing commercial building on it;s original site.”.

In 1984 the cafe was entered into the National Register of Historic Places.

It was a Texas tradition for more than 100 years. Now the Wunsche Brothers Cafe and Saloon is for sale.

The owners have not been able to recover from a fire that damaged the Old Town Spring restaurant back in March. The business originally opened in 1902.
Realtors say the owners hope to sell it to someone who will “redevelop the property under the existing historical motif, including the name.”
That would mean items like the menu and recipes would be included in the sale.

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