Gabriele Meissner McCormick and David Lawhorn had lived in various big cities before settling in San Antonio in 1982. Both were working in the corporate environment and found they were looking for peace and quiet and a place to have a small garden while still commuting. Their new found love of the Texas hill country and luck brought them to Welfare. Early in 1992, they purchased the town, which included the historic Beseler homestead, general store & post office, various barns, and 150 acres of the original 160 acres surveyed to Carl Philip Beseler in 1854.
In April of 1998, site clean-up and restoration of the Welfare Café began. A conscious decision was made to stabilize and retain the original character of the building. In July of 1998, Gabriele decided she had enough of corporate management, followed her heart and love of cooking, and turned her energies to opening a café. By the end of November that same year, the day after Thanksgiving the Welfare café was open for business. A year later, staying true to Gabriele’s heritage, the bier garten was opened.
In 2005, The Goat Barn was built using all the reclaimed wood from the original barn in addition to reclaimed materials David Lawhorn had been taking down from various unwanted buildings in the area. The first wedding and reception was held in April of 2005.
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Welfare – where love, history and nature come together
“I just wanted to take a moment and tell you how much we appreciated you (Gaby) and your restaurant. I will never forget the morning after we were robbed. We came in asking you to try our card before we sat down because we just were robbed the night before in San Antonio and most of our cards were shut down. You asked us to go ahead and sit down and you would try our card for us. When the card was declined you surprised me when you told us that you were sorry but the card did not work however please sit down and order anything you want. "You can pay me later." My wife and I were blown away with the kindness and the compassion that you showed us that day. During our year and half living in Boerne we ate at your restaurant a ton of times. We especially enjoyed your specialty events. I am in Maryland right now, I loved your jalapeno gravy and biscuits lol!I just wanted to let you know how much you and your restaurant meant to us and say thank you. Thanks”