Looking back: The history of Cantina Cadillac

The Stockyards honky-tonk plans to rebuild following a fire in early August.


The building has been a landmark in the Stockyards for over 100 years.

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On Saturday, Aug. 5, flames rose from Cantina Cadillac in the Stockyards when a broken gas line caused a fire to engulf the historic building and the roof to collapse — thankfully, no one was injured. Fire and water caused extensive damage to the popular honky-tonk, but owner Jay Hester said he hopes to hold a grand re-opening in about six months. Let’s take a look back at what made this bar so loveable.

Constructed in 1908, the three-story brick building is located on the corner of West Exchange and Ellis Avenues. The ground floor housed a furniture store with a hotel and boarding house on the upper levels. Later, it became a Masonic fraternal lodge.

The side of the building bore the remnants of a long-forgotten cigar advertisement with a two-story owl painting keeping watch over the street.


The 1908 building features brick detailing around its old wooden windows.

In 1982, the ground floor was converted into a bar. Decorated with historic photos, posters, and longhorn heads, Cantina Cadillac became a popular hangout in the district. It even rated a mention in Casey Donahew’s “Stockyards” song.

The top floors serve as the Cadillac Hotel with 10 guest rooms and a cozy, casual parlor.

Check out one of the other spots to sip in the Stockyards while you impatiently wait for the bar to reopen.


Reader Helen S. shared a photo of a rare moment on the empty dance floor with her friend Bethany.

Photo provided by Helen S.

Readers’ remembrance

We asked readers to share their favorite Cadillac memories and pour out some love for the neighborhood honky-tonk. Here’s what y’all said.

“Danced a lot on that little dance floor such great memories.” — @slongoria64

“My first bar to go to, still go. ❤️" — Holly C.

“Too many memories to count ❤️. Will always be my favorite FW bar.” — @heatherlaurena

Reader Jacob M. also shared a fun story about his friend’s 21st birthday party in 2009. We’ll just say there was a special on peppermint schnapps, a little tip off a barstool, and repeat appearance of a chicken fried steak dinner. Apparently, it was a wonderful time because he said he would “9/10 do it again in the new building” — we’ll take your word for it.

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