Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fort Shiloh

It would be fair to say that the contrived "fort in the wilderness" theme was played well. (See below for source)

Fort Shiloh was one of the things that I wanted to cover on the blog when I first started it (it was originally mentioned on this page back when it was called "Tales of Defunct Restaurants").

Until around 2005, the overgrown sign of this restaurant (Fort Shiloh Steakhouse, though some phone books listed it as the Fort Shiloh Grille) could be seen as well as some wooden teepees, with a (much older) building in the back. I don't know the exact history of the restaurant, but from this link, which shows the demolished restaurant, it says that it was opened as an agricultural co-op (Shiloh Club) in what was Shiloh, a (very small) community established in the late 1800s. I don't know when the building was built, but it was an era when the land was farmland (whether it was a considered a part of Shiloh or College Station, I don't know). Before opening as a restaurant in 1976, it had most recently been a dance hall (see link above). If I got my facts straight, the restaurant was owned by Ken Martin Restaurant Group (owning numerous restaurants) and shut down in or around 1996 (per the Eagle article).

The above picture is from Project HOLD, which have other photos in and around Fort Shiloh, though regrettably none of the teepees or the sign, though the sign looks like the advertisement below.

From what everything I've heard, it was a rather nice place in its heyday. Here's a comment from the original TODR thread, which I saved:

Back in high school, I washed dishes at the Fort Shiloh Steakhouse. At the time, it was one of the more fancy local restaurants (filet mignon, anyone?). Sorry that a local landmark closes and is replaced by a dozen chain restaurants from Dallas/Houston.

Additionally, soon after I originally posted this post in 2013, on November 4th I found a 1980s phone book ad that further backs up it being Steakhouse.

Note that despite the fancy surroundings, it was a dry establishment even though the county was wet.

UPDATE 02-17-2024: The article was last updated in June 2017, and there were a few things that I wanted to update and trim. (Specifically, the part about manager Joe Ruiz, as I was mostly working off memory having met him once as he was working for Sysco...but that information is more than a decade old and I'm not sure that's still case). I also somehow missed adding several categories to the post. Currently, Aggieland Express Car Wash & Lube is under construction here having finally begun work around late 2022/early 2023.