If you find yourself dining at Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill downtown at the corner of Red River and East 3rd streets, take a good look around because you’re surrounded by major Texas and German history. It starts with the Hofheintz-Reissig Store, a Texas Historic Landmark.
Born in 1822, Henry Hofheintz was an immigrant from Nassau, Germany, who came to Texas in 1845. He was known to haul freight by team and wagon from Mexico to San Antonio and Austin.
Henry built the Hofheintz-Reissig Store, — which contained groceries + dry goods and lasted for ~100 years. The historical marker for the store reads, “Built later was the one-story addition, which was used as a saloon and a residence.”
The establishment is housed in the old Waterloo Compound, where a grouping of old commercial buildings once stood in Austin. Eventually, Henry bought the Waterloo Compound for $112 (talk about a sweet deal for prime real estate in Austin).
Henry originally built the structure to serve as a warehouse for his goods + place to store corn for his mules. This building later became known as the “Sunday House,” after he cleared goods from the house to allow city and rural German settler families to stay overnight, so they could shop at local markets and attend church on Sunday.
Many Sunday Houses were established throughout Central Texas, but Henry’s Sunday House is the only one left in Austin.
So, what does the Moonshine restaurant have to do with anything? The space now serves as a small private event area at Moonshine and as a unique dining room. Moonshine even stores its wine collection in the same cellar originally created in the 19th century.
After Henry’s death in 1880, the store was passed down to his eldest child, Catherine Louise, and her husband, Adolph Reissig. The property would go on to stay in the family until 1966.
The property was officially recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission in 1983. Moonshine opened in 2003, and is the second restaurant to call the space home. Visit the historic site at 600 E. 3rd St.