Back to

History of the Camp Street Cafe and Store

When you enjoy an evening at the Camp Street Café and Store in Crockett, take a moment to savor the buildings eclectic history.  Lovelady rancher V.H. “Hoyt” Porter bought the property, which lay near Crockett’s depot, around 1930.  He soon built a structure there on a strip dubbed “Camp Street” by the locals, because teamsters had often camped on the land with their wagons.  For the next four decades, the building housed various enterprises, including a café, a barbershop, and a pool hall; legendary Texas bluesman Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins, Frankie Lee Sims and other musicians played there for tips during the Forties.  Then, for many years, Camp Street lay vacant.

   The Café & Store is housed in an old false-front tin building built in 1931.  Camp Street (now South 3rd) used to be adjacent to the mule barn and wagon yard and was where freighters and families on shopping trips to town used to camp. 

   In 1998, the Porter property got a second lease on life when Hoyt’s grandsons Guy and Pipp Gillette, sons of photographer Guy Gillette, opened the Camp Street Café and Store. The integrity of the original building has been maintained in the extensive recent restoration, and atmosphere abounds. 

   On most Saturday evenings at 8:00pm, and occasionally during the week Guy and Pipp host performers with a range of musical styles – blues, Western, bluegrass, Celtic, you name it.