The Badu House was built in 1891 by the Austin architectural firm of Larramour and Watson. It was originally constructed to serve as the First National Bank of Llano, with office space on the second story. In March 1898, the bank became defunct and the building was sold to French native N. J. Badu, a noted local mineralogist. Professor Badu and his family made a home of the Badu House and the building was passed down for generations. Even until 1980, the Badu House was still owned by Mrs. Robert (Carrol) Phelan, granddaughter of Mr. Badu.
In 1980, Ann and Earl Ruff of Houston, Texas purchased the Badu House and restored it as a restaurant and country inn. Throughout the last 20 years, the Badu House has had several different owners, but most often it was known as a lovely restaurant, bar and bed and breakfast. The beautiful old building once helped to anchor Llano’s finest and busiest commercial district. Most of the other buildings on the block were destroyed by fire or by a 1906 tornado, but the Badu House survived as a lone witness to the grandeur of early “North Llano.” It remains as one of Llano’s greatest historic treasures. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a Texas Historic Site.
Of particular significance is the bar in the Pub area – its top is made out of Llanite, a granite found only in Llano County. It is the largest assembly of polished Llanite in the world.
Stan, Karalina, and Taylor Venable purchased the Badu House in July 2010, to establish a wine pub and bed and breakfast. Newcomers to Llano and the Hill Country, they wanted to bring something original and new to Llano and the Hill Country. Opening the Pub in November 2010, the Venables offer a wide range of fine wines, including specializing in Texas wines, with many of those from nearby wineries. Karalina is a Certified Executive Wine Sommelier, and can help with any selections or questions.
A broad selection of draft and bottled domestic, craft and import beers, ales, and ciders are also available.
Taylor is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Austin; a chef specializing in catering, she is responsible for the preparation of the original recipes at the Badu House. Her dishes range from simple appetizers to unique entrees (and mini-entrees), all fare intended to complement the wine and beer. Staff prepare everything fresh daily, including making all their own sauces and dressings.
While the Pub opened in November 2010, the bed and breakfast recently opened three of its standard rooms, with a fourth standard room and a suite available May 2013. Please see the Lodging page for more detail.