In 2004, Scotty Light purchased the former two story Ewell’s Dry Goods Palace (1893) and its adjoining storeroom (1903), which is now the Mustang Cantina. The buildings were designed by Jules Leffland, Danish architect, who designed 80 additional buildings in South Texas. By the wishes of Josephine Ewell, the owner’s wife, the original late Victorian façade of the two-story building was replaced by a “modern” one. Through the years, the two story edifice was also a movie theatre, a Ford tractor dealership and an office building. It is the future Inn on the Square, a six-room boutique hotel, planned for completion in 2019.
The Cantina, constructed of yellow Goliad brick manufactured by the Goliad Brick Company (which was 2 blocks south), has a wine cellar of mission rock. In 1870, the Goliad town council passed an act permitting the townspeople of Goliad to use rock from what then was known as the “old mission” (later revealed to be the Presidio La Bahia). As a result, several rock buildings on the square, five rock basements, and some houses in town were built using this material originally quarried by the Spanish settlers in the late 1700s.
Over the 14 year period, the Cantina building was enlarged, using many recycled materials, including long-leaf pine flooring, bead board paneling from the larger building and from an adjoining building (a dry cleaners) which Light purchased and demolished in 2012. Other details of the building include three doors from the old courthouse which was remodeled in 2003, new double entrance doors (which replaced filled in brick in the opening), antique door handles from New Orleans, and a bead board ceiling made from former floor joists from Joske’s Dept. Store in San Antonio. The light fixture features early brands of the area.
All of this was done in order to keep the beauty and era alive.