A video chronicling the historic Café Raven, one of Huntsville’s longest running and best-loved restaurants, has been recently produced and is now available for viewing.
Opened in 1930, the Café Raven was named after Sam Houston’s Cherokee moniker. The video also features rare photos of Abe Dabaghi, one of the restaurant’s founders and later its sole owner. The restaurant was not only renowned for its warm hospitality, strong civic involvement, and authentic French cuisine, but was also part of Huntsville’s proud history, serving as the mess Hall for Company F, the local army reserve unit as it was being activated for World War II.
The Café Raven was also distinguished among Huntsville’s business establishments as the first in Huntsville to offer air conditioning, a grand ballroom, and to have a neon sign. As Huntsville’s preeminent restaurant, its patrons and guests included U.S. Senators and Congressmen, judges, civic luminaries, and other local, state and national leaders.
In addition, the video highlights past stories from The Huntsville Item, including a feature on Cafe Raven Head Chef Bishop J. Mayes, Sr. and a column by Don Reid, Jr. (then editor of The Huntsville Item) regarding its beloved owner, Abe Dabaghi. The video also notes the strong historical relationship between the Cafe Raven, Dabaghi, and Sam Houston State Teachers College (now Sam Houston State University).