Martin's Place

Date Added

In December 1924, Martin Kapchinskie purchased land at this site, along a one-lane country road connecting Bryan to Texas A&M University, near the communities of Union Hill and Midway. Here, he opened a store for travelers and named it Martin's Place, where he offered groceries, a public telephone, gasoline and barbecue. The original building was a wooden, screened structure, with a small pit inside, and tables and a large pit outside. During the 1930s, Kapchinski sold some of the surrounding land to maintain the business during the Great Depression. By 1939, he had enough money to build a more substantial building, a red brick structure with a kitchen inside and a barbecue pit attached at back. The interior, designed like a cafe, included a tall bar. Following World War II, Kapchinskie's son Albin joined him as partner. Albin, who had served during the war as a butcher in the Navy, added a meat market to Martin's Place in 1951. A horseshoe-shaped bar replaced the original tall bar. In 1955, Albin purchased the business from his father, who retired to Michigan. As Bryan and College Station grew and the automobile greatly changed the way people lived, Martin's Place became more than a rest stop for travelers. Still in the Kapchinskie family, the restaurant has become part of local life and a place of fond memories for generations of Texas A&M University students. Longtime patrons of Martin's recall "Uncle" Steve Holik, who served tables from 1946 until 1987, and for decades area residents came for daily domino games and to shoot pool. Although the world around it has developed rapidly, Martin's Place has changed little from its early days, remaining a popular stop for rest and refreshment. (2005)


30.637222, -96.356389