Everything you need to know about Chip and Joanna Gaines' new restaurant

Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the fan-favorite HGTV series Fixer Upper (sadly in its fifth and final season), have taken the renovation and design world by storm. They came into our homes and hearts with their farmhouse decor and their too-cute-for-words family, and we've been happily gobbling up news of all their product launches (how can you not love their Hearth & Hand collection at Target?) and projects ever since. The couple behind the Magnolia brand seems to have an endless appetite for building their brand. 

So when it was announced that they had purchased an old cafe in Waco, Texas in May 2016, our mouths started watering in anticipation. Good news — the wait is over. Magnolia Table is finally open, and from the looks of things on Instagram, neither the food nor the design will let us down. Here's what we know about Chip and Jo's delicious new venture.

When and where

Though the restaurant was expected to open in late 2017, things don't always go smoothly in the construction world. Joanna Gaines gave an update on her blog in June 2017 saying, "Of course there have been a few setbacks along the way (as there are with every construction project), but we're on the home stretch! We are setting our sights on opening at the end of this year." Magnolia Table officially opened its doors for business on February 26, 2018. They missed the mark by a few months, but good things come to those who wait, right? The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday (closed Sunday) from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and don't be surprised if there's a bit of a wait — reservations are not accepted at the 210 seat eatery so it's first come, first served. You'll find it at 2132 S. Valley Mills Drive in Waco, Texas.

They took over the historic Elite Cafe building

If there's one thing Chip and Joanna Gaines are good at, it's taking something old and making it shine again. That's exactly what they wanted to do with Magnolia Table, formerly Elite Cafe, which originally opened in 1919. Joanna wrote on her blog, "It had been a Waco icon for nearly 100 years, and we couldn't let a place with such a rich history be forgotten… I'm convinced that this place holds at least one memory for nearly everyone in Waco, Texas. In light of all of that, we don't take this renovation and restoration project lightly. We want everyone, whether you're part of the building's past or not, to walk in and instantly feel the rich history of it." She went on to say that since the building is a historic landmark, they would be simultaneously restoring the original character while introducing new design elements into the space. Sounds like your typical episode of Fixer Upper.

Don't go there looking for dinner

The menu at Magnolia Table focuses heavily on breakfast and brunch, with a few lunch options, but since they close at 3 p.m. you won't find any of your standard dinner fare here. What you will find are classic dishes with a twist, like the farm eggs Benedict — two of Jo's buttermilk biscuits topped with thick-cut peppered bacon, poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce, and chives. Or an order of bacon and eggs, which sounds unassuming, but Magnolia Table turns it into a deviled egg, brown sugar peppered bacon, jalapeño jam situation. The housemade tater tots with Parmesan cheese sound irresistible, as do the lemon lavender donut holes. There's also an impressive fresh juice selection featuring tantalizing blends like fresh face (pomegranate, apple, lemon, and watermelon), a small menu for the kids, a dessert section, and even a pie of the day. Who's still thinking about jalapeño jam with bacon? Mmm.

The menu features local ingredients

If you've ever watched Fixer Upper, you know that Joanna Gaines spends a lot of time with her kids in the garden. In fact, they spend so much time there that they recently completed a huge garden renovation on their farm, adding a potting shed, a chicken coop, and raised beds. Seeing her kids tending to their own plants on Instagram is commonplace. So it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the Magnolia Table menu features vegetables from Joanna's garden. She told her followers on Twitter, "When we started planning for the restaurant we were passionate about using locally grown produce. We love that many of the veggies will be coming straight from our home garden at the farm!" The menu showcases other locally sourced produce, meat, and eggs, and the restaurant's commitment to seasonal ingredients is highlighted with this phrase: "Ask your server what's growing in the garden this season!"

There are shout-outs to the Gaines family all over the menu

Magnolia Table is a family business after all, and the Gaines family features prominently on the menu, with nods to Chip, Joanna, and their kids. You can try Emmie's grilled cheese (made with Texas toast, of course) or Ella's dipping doughnuts (cinnamon powdered cake donut holes with warm chocolate dipping sauce — swoon!). We see Jo's famous buttermilk biscuits make an appearance in several dishes, or you can enjoy them straight up with strawberry butter or sausage gravy (how about both?!). There's even a Gaines brothers burger, complete with bacon onion jam. But it's Chip's ham sandwich that really caught our attention, and no, this is not your usual deli sandwich. It's sliced grilled ham and melted cheddar, topped with two scrambled eggs and served on a croissant. Oh, and it comes with those drool-worthy housemade tater tots. It seems that Chip knows his way around a construction site and a kitchen.

The restaurant was Chip's idea

It took Joanna a bit more time to warm up to getting into the restaurant business than her husband. Chip spoke to Southern Living about his wife's trepidation saying, "I've always been a breakfast connoisseur. I always do a heavy, bigger breakfast, but Jo is the exact opposite. She was kind enough to come with me on this one, and we are going to do up a breakfast joint here in town." 

Joanna seemed to agree, writing on her blog, "Opening a breakfast joint has always been something that Chip's been interested in — and it's been so fun to watch how excited he has been about the entire process. People always say the restaurant business is a beast — and we believe that, we aren't naive to the fact that this is all new to us — but we are genuinely thrilled that we get the opportunity to restore a Waco treasure into something new." Confirmation that they don't just play a perfect couple on TV.

There's a separate to-go market and coffee bar

When Chip and Joanna Gaines do something it attracts a lot of attention, and Magnolia Table is no exception. The grand opening brought long lines to Waco's traffic circle (where the restaurant is located) and license plates from across the country, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. But don't worry — if the line for the restaurant is just too long, you can always hit the Take Away which "includes a market-style shop for guests to purchase gifts and grab select menu items to go," according to Magnolia spokesman Brock Murphy. There's also an outdoor coffee bar that features a selection of freshly baked pastries. Bottom line? You're not going to go hungry here. And if worst comes to worst, you can get in line with a bite from the Take Away and wait it out until lunch. There's nothing wrong with eating two meals from Magnolia Table, is there? 

The space is very "Fixer Upper"

We all expect to see that "Joanna Gaines touch" on anything she designs. Gaines seems to be able to add just the right amount of new with old, modern with vintage — it's shabby chic mixed with plain old chic — and it's a look we see in her renovations and even in her home decor line. It's no surprise then that Magnolia Table fits this bill. Though the space started out in rough shape, it's come a long way. Chip told People, "When we first got in there, it was all the things you can imagine—dingy, musky. But if I took you in there today, you'd be like 'Oh! This is so clean, everything smells so great.'" From the custom tile floor and the metal + wood accents, to the open beams and greenery, the restaurant looks absolutely stunning but homey at the same time. It's exactly what we'd expect from the Fixer Upper star.

The renovation cost a hefty chunk of change

Turning a 100-year old restaurant into the latest "it" eatery is no small feat, and you can bet that the price tag isn't small either. The Waco Tribune-Herald reported that the Gaines' company, Magnolia Prime Real Estate, spent an estimated $2 million on the renovation that turned Elite Cafe into Magnolia Table, and that's not to mention the price of the building itself. But hey, as we've seen time and again on Fixer Upper, when Chip and Joanna jump into a project, it's all or nothing. The Gaines' did a substantial amount of work both inside and out, including reshaping the roof line, which had to be approved by the city's Historic Landmark Preservation Commission who recommended a "certificate of appropriateness" for the changes. Because of federal standards, it was required that certain architecturally significant elements were preserved, but knowing Jo's affinity for all things vintage, that probably wasn't much of an issue. 

It's not the Gaines' first venture into food

It's a common sight on Fixer Upper to see Jo in the kitchen with her kids, but aside from that, Chip and Joanna Gaines aren't total strangers to the food world. It was her passion for baking and a desire to share her take on all things sweet that inspired her to open a bakery, and prior to opening Magnolia Table, they opened Silos Baking Co. at their Silos property in Waco. She wrote on Instagram, "From a young age I loved spending time in the kitchen with my family, and dreamed of owning my own bakery. Coming in 2016, this dream will come alive at the Silos, and I can't wait to share it with you. The vision behind The Bakery is that you feel my family's love for baking and experience an unexpected grouping of fresh baked pastries, breads and sweets." The bakery opened in June 2016 and features an array of delicious treats. And of course, its pastries are featured on the new restaurant's menu.

There's a cookbook by the same name

Like what you've seen (or tasted)? You're in luck — Joanna Gaines wrote a cookbook featuring recipes from the restaurant, as well as some of her and her friend's and family's favorite recipes. She explained on her blog, "For me, the cookbook is a celebration of bringing people together, because I think there's nothing better than gathering around a table with family and friends for a good meal." And if your mouth is still watering thinking about those buttermilk biscuits on the Magnolia Table menu, you'll be happy to know the recipe is included. Gaines went on to say, "My personal favorite thing about both the restaurant and the cookbook is the biscuits. For the past year or so, I have spent almost every Saturday morning perfecting this biscuit recipe, and we finally have one that has the seal of approval from Chip and the kids." Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering comes out in April 2018.