Kloesel’s Steak House & Bar: Moulton, TX

Blink and you’ll miss Moulton—but that would be a mistake.

Kloesel’s Steak House in Moulton makes a great lunch stop on the way to the “little brewery in Shiner”.© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

On a recommendation we received while in Luling we made a lunch stop at this sidetrack town 10 miles north of Shiner on Texas 95. Incidentally we were on our way to tour the “little brewery in Shiner”.

Turn west off Texas 95 onto Moore Avenue, and see what I mean.

Moulton (pronounced MOLE-ton) prospered in the 1880s as the railroad and Czech and German immigrants came to town. Today, the town of some 1,000 people quaintly blends Old World style and Old West flavor.

Kloesel’s Steak House

During the past 40 years, Harvey and Diana Kloesel have turned a former grocery-café into a popular eatery. The Kloesels charbroil choice steaks. Other fare ranges from fettuccine to blue-plate specials, plus luscious pies and cheesecakes.

Harvey and Diana started their restaurant business in July 1970 in a small cafe they rented next to the Moulton Post Office. Within eight months, realizing that they had outgrown the cafe, the Kloesels purchased their present building from Ed and Minnie Pundt and started renovating it. In May 1971 they moved to the new location making their home in the living quarters above the restaurant.

The west dining room was already part of the building, but the kitchen was extensively expanded. A two car garage and storage room was kept on the east side of the restaurant until 1972 when it was torn down, and the east wing was added and made into a dining room.

The sauces, salad dressings, homemade pies, fresh bread and buns, and fresh steaks are also available for purchase. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In 1978, the Kloesels purchased a house belonging to the Kotzebue Family, renovated it and moved from the upstairs apartment into their new home. The living quarters were then converted into a private dining area, and the east dining room was remodeled into a bar. In 1981, the bar was expanded to include a dance floor and more seating. Additional expansion was done in 1993 to accommodate the pool table and dart boards.

In 1997 a historical marker was erected marking Kloesel’s Steakhouse & Bar as the site of Moore Hotel, a historical landmark built by Samuel Moore.

Moore Hotel

In the 1860s, Samuel Moore and his brother William bought 12,000 acres of land lying between the present towns of Moulton and Shiner. The Moore brothers granted a right of way to the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad in 1887. A town-site was plotted, and the new town of Moulton was established.

The Moore Hotel was built in 1888 directly east of the railroad tracks and depot. The 32 room hotel was built to accommodate travelers and the large influx of people arriving in the growing community during that period.

In 1890, the Moore Hotel was purchased by Christian Kotzebue. It was progressively enlarged, and when finished, the hotel contained 42 rooms. After Christian died, his sons and daughters managed the hotel until it went out of business in the 1930s.

The dining room features pictures of the hotel interior and other historical pictures of early Moulton. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Moore Hotel building was purchased by Edwin and Minnie Pundt in 1940 who demolished the old hotel to make way for a grocery store and meat market. The store closed during World War II. In 1942 it was remodeled and reopened as Pundt’s Cafe.

On March 1, 1971, Harvey and Diana Kloesel purchased the cafe and renovated it into Kloesel’s Steakhouse.

Over the years, historical pictures and antiques were added and are still being added to the inside decor.

In the original building of the Pundt’s Cafe (that is now the front dining room of Kloesel’s Steakhouse), hangs a frosted glass artwork that was part of a door of the Moore Hotel. The west dining room of the steakhouse features a large original sketch of the Moore Hotel as well as pictures of the hotel interior and other historical pictures of early Moulton.

All steaks at Kloesel’s are USDA choice beef and are freshly cut in the Kloesel’s preparation room. The salad dressings and sauces are family recipes prepared fresh each week. The Kloesels also feature their own private label of Steak Sauce which is served in their restaurant. The sauces, salad dressings, homemade pies, fresh bread and buns, and fresh steaks are available for purchase.

In 1997, the Kloesels began a new venture with a building they call “Cowboy Roundup Hall”. It is a large air conditioned hall located 1½ miles north of Moulton atop a hill overlooking a scenic valley. The hall has been remodeled in an antique western style décor with seating up to 300 people. It features a full kitchen, pool table, game tables, a large stage, dance floor, antique bar, six TVs with a CD and video system, PA system, surround sound music system, and special lighting over the dance floor and stage.

Kloesel’s Steak House is located at 101 East Moore.

Texas Spoken Friendly

Worth Pondering…
My favorite animal is steak.

—Fran Lebowitz

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