Marfa says goodbye to Casita Bar

Locals bid farewell to beloved mainstay Casita Bar this past weekend, as operators announced the shuttering of the location. Photo by Christie Alexander.

MARFA — Patrons gathered over the weekend to bid farewell to beloved local mainstay Casita Bar after operators announced on social media that after Sunday, the “present version of this particular establishment disappears from its current location for all times.”

The bar may make a comeback in the future, said owner Chris Ramming, but it remains to be seen exactly where that might be or what form it would take.

Ramming first moved to Marfa in 2016 with lifelong experience in the service industry. He soon created a bar in the alleyway outside of Cochineal restaurant. In 2018, with help from Adam Bork, Ramming opened what is known now as Casita Bar, stylized head to toe with colorful lights, vintage decorations and a lively atmosphere. During its run, Casita Bar was beloved among Marfa locals — a reputation Ramming said he cherished.    

“I appreciate the people that have appreciated this and have appreciated this throughout the years,” Ramming said of the bar. “To me, it was a big deal to have a place where people felt comfortable being.”  

A few years into their run, thanks to some experimentation during the pandemic, the bar started hosting outdoor music and food. With his past kitchen experience and his love of music, it was a no-brainer for Ramming to incorporate these two into the mix. The bar has a large outdoor patio with an array of seating, a classic concession stand window in the front, and a menu of made-to-order comfort food with creative twists.  

“When I first started, I wanted a space for people to listen to music,” Ramming said. “And well, someone gave me a hot dog rolling machine. Everyone likes hot dogs and tater tots, and you can build on top of them, change it up.”  

Menu items like the “ZZ Tots” — tater tots topped with bacon, queso and jalapeño — or the “Southerner Dog” — a hot dog topped with pimento cheese, bacon, mustard and green onion — were born from this experimental philosophy, and the importance of being able to eat and relax without paying top dollar.    

Robert Roth, nicknamed Rock’n’roll Robert, a Marfa local and professional musician from Ohio, was a regular at Casita Bar. He played in a few live shows there, and even got a menu item named after him called “The Rock’N’Roll Robert Party Dog.” The one-of-a-kind nature of the location will be sorely missed, said Roth.

“Chris and I came to town about the same time, and he made a unique place,” said Roth. “[Chris and Adam] created a beautiful atmosphere, and the food is tasty.”  

Shannon Marie, a Marfa local and baker, also spoke to the uniqueness of Casita Bar, and said she’ll miss the colorful sight on the corner of Ranch Road.

“Casita Bar was such a special location because it was a combination of the new and the old,” said Marie. “I’m sure we’ll all miss driving by at night with the corner all lit up, so welcoming and entertaining.”