In the 1930's this building was a movie theatre in the middle of a booming mercury mining town. Terlingua became a true ghost town after the mine closed, but the roofless building got some use in the 1960's with musical gatherings and chili cook-offs. In the 1990's the building was given a new roof and became a restaurant and music venue. In 2013, I finally got to come enjoy a little food and entertainment at this one of a kind place!
Musicians and Dogs
We arrived on a sunny January afternoon. The snow had just melted after a rare snowstorm and the big porch next to The Starlight was alive with roaming dogs and strumming guitars. We were told this was common activity. There's often more music outside on the porch, than inside on the stage.
Locals told us to come back to The Starlight on Monday night for 2 for 1 burgers. The bar area was crowded with locals, mostly. Lots of cowboy hats and friends greeting each other. More observing than mingling. The kitchen seemed a little backed up, but the burgers were delicious when they arrived.
On Friday night we returned and found a comfortable atmosphere with music by Mark and Hank. It was a slow night so we had lots of time to chat during their break. Interesting to hear Mark's story of learning to play fiddle when he was in his 40's, living in the area as a river guide. We chatted with Hank about how Woody Guthrie used his music to educate and unite people. After break, Hank and Mark went back to performing and offered a nice surprise. "This one's for Beth!" Hank announced before they started up with "This Land is Your Land." Love a little Woody Guthrie!
Besides great people watching, there was some pretty interesting decor. In the rear of the restaurant is a stage and a large cowboy mural where the movie screen once was. There's also a stuffed goat with a sign, "The Honorable Clay Henry". There's a long story about this goat (before taxidermy) and how the nearby town of Lajitas voted him in as Mayor years ago. The goat was a big fan of Lone Star Beer.
I can't believe I actually got to visit the ghost town 3 times in one week. You'd think I'd have this place figured out by now. But I only have more questions about this isolated area scattered with mining ruins and a few old trailers and buses. Where do these locals really live? What brings them here? How long do they stay? Is there anyone who was actually born here? I guess 3 times is not enough. I'll have to come back.
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.