AUSTIN (KXAN) — The resurrection of an old lakeside hotspot is the latest celebration for the triumphant return of Lake Travis.
Frogs at the Pond opened nearly two months ago in the same location Carlos’n Charlie’s left behind when they shut their doors in 2013 amid the severe drought. Even though it is a brand new business, it is the same place Linda and Jeff Witt have been coming for years.
“I have been coming here since the 1990s. It was the spot on the lake,” said Jeff. He and his wife sat beneath a palm tree and sipped on their beverages Thursday evening as they looked out over the rejuvenated lake and reminisced.
“I saw a house boat go by and I asked him if he thought it was the same one we rented for his 40th birthday,” said Linda.
But for all the memories they made, the last one was the most painful. The view from the patio featured much more rocks and much less water on Labor Day 2013 when Carlos’n Charlie’s shut down.
“When it closed, we all cried for three weeks.”
That sadness was equaled in joy when he heard a new owner was reopening the doors. Jose Mayorga and his nephew Luis Osorio said they planned on opening up shop even before recent rains filled Lake Travis.
“This place was like a monument. There are a lot of memories in this place,” said Mayorga, who made many memories of his own at Carlos’n Charlie’s. He is also the owner of Frog’s Pool Hall which sits just down the road.
Mayorga hopes the July Fourth weekend will welcome back all the patrons who faithfully visited Carlos’n Charlie’s for years. The patio area is currently open with a bar, food truck, and stage, but Mayorga hopes to have the indoor portion of the building renovated and reopened soon.
“We took a chance and said, ‘let’s go revive the memories.’”
Reopening the restaurant may seem like a risk if recent rains give way to similar drought conditions which crippled Carlos’n Charlie’s, but Mayorga plans is to thrive regardless. He has hopes to install a swimming pool for parties, volleyball courts for competitions and other features which will draw crowds no matter the water level.
“We expect the water to go down again, but we do not care.”
Frogs at the Pond is currently open Thursdays-Sundays.