Burnet welcomes new winery, honors building's past

Savanna Gregg/Burnet Bulletin
Downtown Burnet recently celebrated the grand opening of Wedding Oak Winery, which has taken up residence inside the recently renovated historic Badger Building and Tex Robertson Building. The City of Burnet and Burnet Economic Development Corporation welcomed the business as a new partnership focusing on bringing economic opportunities to town while respecting the history of Burnet and it's historic square.

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

The city of Burnet welcomed a new business to its historic downtown square as members of the community joined Wedding Oak Winery owner Mike McHenry and City officials at the winery's ribbon cutting on Thursday, Sept. 26.

The winery opened its doors Sunday, Sept. 8, at the site of the newly renovated Badger Building and Tex Robertson Building at the corner of Jackson and Pierce Streets and has been well-received by the community in regards to its fresh new business and its respect of the town's history.

The Badger Building has been a focal point in the community since 1883, and served as a gathering place for the young men and women of early Burnet. The late Tex Robertson purchased the building in the 1960's and utilized it as a community center, but through the passing of time, the building slowly emptied and became just a snapshot of times past.

Recently, a new purpose for the building was discovered, and together, Burnet City Council, the Economic Development Corporation, and the family of Tex Robertson began plans to restore the Badger Building and its neighbor, the former Chamber building, back to their former glory.

McHenry brought his experience in viticulture and the wine industry to Burnet after opening his first winery in San Saba in 2012, then a second in Fredericksburg in 2016.

McHenry and his crews continuously process 30 tons of 100 percent Texas fruit, and pride themselves on the fact that they produce 100 percent Texas wine in a 100 percent Texas environment.

Wedding Oak Winery's 10,000 case winery in San Saba occupies a 1926 building, and this new venture stays true to his business' values of keeping Texas' beautiful old structures alive and well.

“We have a passion for historic buildings and turning them into something people can enjoy,” McHenry said. “We had to knock down the Chamber building, but we recreated it with the indented entrances like you see on a lot of 1920s structures, so it really goes along with the streetscape.

“I am a big fan of these buildings,” McHenry added.

Wedding Oak Winery's partnership with the city is off to a great start, as city officials praised McHenry on his efforts to take over care of the Badger Building and Tex Robertson Building, while bringing a fresh aspect to the city's economy.

“We have a lot of the same ideas as the City Council and the BEDC,” McHenry said. “We want the opportunity to let people try our product, but we also want to generate jobs and economic activity.”

“We're tickled to death because we are preserving the history that we've got down here on the square,” said BEDC President Cary Johnson at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “It is a great day for downtown Burnet, and it has been my pleasure, along with the board. Let's all support it and make it a big success.”

At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Burnet Mayor Crista Goble Bromley praised McHenry, the city council, and the BEDC for their collaboration in bringing the new business to town, and thanked the family of the late Tex Robertson, who donated the building to the entities in the beginning to make the whole venture possible.

“This project has been a long time in the making, and were it not for the collaboration of a lot of groups of people, it would never have happened,” Bromley said.

The Robertson family joined McHenry, City Council, and the BEDC at the Badger Building and Tex Robertson Building dedication ceremony, during which the completion of the projects was celebrated.

“I want to thank the city, the BEDC, Wedding Oak Winery, and everyone who put together this project and made it work,” son John Robertson said. “After laying on the side for a while, watching it come back as an anchor for our community, I think Tex would be proud.”

The ceremony saw many members of the community, all excited at new opportunities for their town.

“Our staff is excited to be a part of this,” McHenry said. “We love being here and being a part of this exciting time in Burnet.”

Wedding Oak Winery is located at 229 South Pierce Street, Burnet. The winery can be reached at 512-715-3303. For more information, visit their website, weddingoakwinery.com, or stop by Monday through Sunday.

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