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Piece Of Old East Austin Preserved As Cisco's Restaurant Gets Historic Landmark Designation

Cisco's Restaurant on East Sixth Street was officially designated a historic landmark Monday.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
Cisco's Restaurant on East Sixth Street was officially designated a historic landmark Monday.

Cisco's restaurant, a staple of East Austin for more than six decades, gained historic landmark status in a unanimous vote Monday night.

The vote by Austin's Historic Landmark Commission now goes before City Council, which will decide whether to give it final approval and potentially provide Cisco's with a property tax exemption. 

Haley Wilcox, with the historic preservation consulting firm Ogee, applied for the status with the owner's blessing.

“The designation of this property is really important considering the rapidly changing landscape of East Austin," Wilcox said. "This is a way to preserve Hispanic heritage in East Austin and also bring the building’s long-standing role in Austin’s political history to the forefront.” 

In 1955, Rudy "Cisco" Cisneros moved his bakery into the building at 1511 East Sixth St. The  bid for landmark status describes the bakery and restaurant as a meeting place for prominent Texan politicians like former President Lyndon Johnson and former Gov. John Connally.

"It has been said that many of the deals made in Texas government occurred in the back room of Cisco’s over coffee, biscuits, or a Mexican breakfast of migas or huevos rancheros," the application says, noting Cisneros was nicknamed the "mayor of East Austin" as he became a community leader.

With the commission's vote, Cisco's — now  owned by a group including Cisneros' grandson — expects to continue serving Tex-Mex for many years to come.

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Andy Jechow is the social media coordinator for KUT News. After graduating from American University in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor's degree in international studies, he returned home to Texas — in need of greasy Tex-Mex — and became a TV news producer. Before joining KUT in November 2018, he worked as a digital content producer at Austin NBC affiliate KXAN News. When he's not at work, Andy enjoys attending book signings and watching classic movies.