La Kiva, Terlingua… Texas

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Finally some pictures of La Kiva, the Lounge Restaurant where I now spend 3 evenings a week, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, from 5 to 10pm in case you want to drop by, chatting… I mean cooking! The kitchen is the kitchen, adequate for the menu that reads “Rib eye”, “T Bone”, “Tuna”, “Chicken Fiesta” (topped with cheese and bacon), Nachos and… Super Nachos built like a skyscraper with anything your heart contents such as shrimp and all of the above! Salads, homemade French Fries, Cole Slaw, Beans and very soon some great BBQ Ribs, Brisket… It is a local hang out, specially on Tuesday nights which is Karaoke night, a sometime painful event and I have to soon scramble to find my own personal music device with earplugs! I don’t think I will be able to take much more of it… I wish as there is a mirror for one to look at themselves, there was such a gadget for some to hear themselves… I know… it is called a recorder! But I am only the cook!

How odd for me to do this! Child’s play truly, of course for child’s wages, every bit does help the Journey. I wonder how many Chefs would actually go back to the basics of their profession setting aside the intricacies of a more complex Culinary Art. I had always said in the recent past… some day I am going to work flipping hamburger… and it happened! I see it as a social event, and above all to get a feel of really what goes on in this area as far as the culture, the social life, events. Not a bad deal, for now… There is much about the area I would have never learned without working there, and I have only began.

The definition of “Kiva” is a subterranean room believed to be used for spiritual ceremonies by the ancient Pueblo People of the Southwest. Built in the early 80’s on about 15 acres of land right on the main road, it was the brainchild of Gilberts Felts, an irreverent and eccentric Texan given to excess who passed away on 1989. For the past 17 years, it has been owned by his nephew, Glen Felts. The BBQ man! So truly I feel that Karma has been good to me… as GQ Magazine calls it “ the most bizarre Bar one must visit “. I like bizarre… it is definitely the most entertaining place I have been in! It also has been named by “Men’s Journal” as “one of the 50 best bars of America”!

So this is where I park… I am only two miles from La Kiva by the way, convenient, no commute here!

The heavy slanted entrance door helped by two weights to keep it in its position.

The descent to La Kiva…

… or the exit

The bar itself is made out of large slabs or Redwood trees trucked in from the Russian River, California, so are the dining tables, many Mexican clay pots hanging, a variety of horns, skulls… it seems that every time I go in there is something new to discover. On the wall is La Kiva’s mascot… a conjured big cat fossil assembled from random bones and the plaque underneath tells the story of its fictitious history. “The Penisaurus Erectus” is also found on T Shirts and bumper stickers!

This above is my favorite corner, a huge throne, again made of Redwood.

A big outside patio with a stage for bands, this is the entrance to the “dungeon room”, now just being used as a storage. Oh! And yes, La Kiva is for sale… asking price? 1.1 million…

These past couple weeks have been interesting to say the least, a change from the isolation of the past months, this being a great outlet to get to know an area even better. Many destinations ahead, as in Marfa this weekend for some art viewing by the Chinati Foundation, even a free Concert on Saturday night. Maybe swing by Fort Davis to see my friends at the Bookstore and their red truck, Jerry and Nelda. This could be a new way to travel… to get a 2 to 3 day a week job when staying in the area for a while, as in Moab which will also be a destination in the not so distant future. My goal is more and more to get to know an area as well as the local living in it and this path seems to help out a lot.

And then again, I am always drawn to the Desert and isolation. Seems like I can do both here. We took a ride yesterday late afternoon to the Sotol Vista Overlook in Big Bend Park… we just sat there for a couple hours, the show in front of us was incredible with the rain clouds moving, lightning and thunder… “Magical” I like to call it as Mother Nature was at work intensely with her palette and brushes!

And my last thought was… “How come we are the only ones in the World here?”… think about it… With a global population of millions… Spirit and I… just us witnessing this Earth’s Greatest Show!

You be well… always.

Ara & Spirit


You contributions more than ever are what is keeping this site alive. If reading it is worth $1 a month… the PayPal (contribution) button is above to the right… snail mail address is below. We always “thank you”.

Ara Gureghian

853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245

Naples, Florida 34108


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4 Responses to “La Kiva, Terlingua… Texas”

  1. conchscooter Says:

    I hope Spirit is enjoying the stopping place a smuch as you are…
    My wife and i frequently go out in our skiff and swim in the ocean just before sunset and its still and quiet and no one else is out there.. No one. Just you in texas and us in the Florida Straits. And let me tell you its a lot better that way with the world’s need to broadcast crap music while in the most peaceful places!
    All too soon the snowbirds will be back here however.

  2. Cowtown Pattie Says:

    Gorgeous pictures! Almost edible!

    Hmmm, the Photo Chef!

    What camera do you use?

  3. James Says:

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful story or should I say essay.Inspiring, I too have thought about hitting the road to Terlingua, a place I once traveled to in my youth (1970). Blew off a semester of college to bask in the beauty of the desert and history of Big Bend. As I walk the timeline of getting older I ponder the choice of relocation to BB and Terlingua.
    Thanks for the great read of your journey, lifted my spirit.

  4. Margery Bills Says:

    I have not been to your very good site for awhile. Hope you are well. I met you in the grocery in Study Butte a few years ago when our cars (with dogs) were parked side by side. I commented on the healthy food you were purchasing. I was just looking at a map. It showed Armenia. Then I realized some of my relatives came from just north of you in Adyghea Russia. (The Adygheans had a genocide in 1864 and 10% lived and my people came to U.S.).

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