History

In the late 1940's, the Green Shores area around Lake Austin was primitive, to say the least. Dirt roads lead you into the area, electricity wasn't available, and in 1947 Marion Fowler had a vision and sought to move his family into the desolate Green Shores. Marion and his family set up 20 rental cabins for weekend and summer visitors to come out and enjoy the lake. Even though the cabins had kitchenettes for cooking, vacationers were in need of a place to go out and gather for a bite to eat.

Seeing their need, Marion and a fellow carpenter worked together to create just that, and in 1954 Ski Shores Waterfront Cafe opened its doors. It was, as Marion's son Brad put it, “A glorified hot dog stand,” but the locals loved it.

From that humble start, Ski Shore’s great food and laid-back atmosphere proved to be a combination that was perfectly Austin. Over the years, it became what famed columnist John Kelso called "one of the few icons of Austin eatery establishments.” Ski Shores enjoyed many successful years under ever changing management, but eventually closed its doors in December of 2009 and a little piece of Austin was gone.

Having been a big fan of Ski Shores over the years, Restaurant Freedom founder Rick Engel believed that Ski Shores had too much Austin history to simply go away. So Rick took on the task of revitalizing what is now known as Ski Shores Café, and in April 2010, the Austin icon was back! You'll see, not much has changed over the decades; you'll still enjoy the same laid-back, friendly, neighborhood atmosphere, and a mouth-watering menu. Ski Shores is looking forward to serving Austin’s for another 60 years!

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