This block was known as “Merchants Square” and in 1889 the Del Mar Hotel was opened. At the time the Del Mar Hotel was the largest wooden structure, standing three stories tall and covering almost the entire block. It had 50 rooms and wide verandas encircling the first and second floors. Most of the furniture was made by convicts at the Huntsville Prison. They believed in 1889 that Aransas County was to become a great tourist center and a great business center, the focal point of the entire Texas coast.
The building formerly known as Java Bay has been many things through the years. The 2-story part of the building was originally the telephone company building which explains why it has a basement. The telephone wires were kept underground in the basement. The original latters are still there. It has been many businesses including: restaurants, bars, coffee shops, antiques and nik-nak stores, along with a few others. At one time in the late 1970’s my sister, Bobbi and I took macramé lessons on the second floor with our mother, Joy. We’ve been told there is a ghost and her name is Marilyn. We have yet to meet her, but I have heard she is nice. We hope she is happy about the positive changes that are occurring in the building and on this historical ground.
We have taken the Merchants Square name and brought it into present day. We believe as they did back in 1889 that Rockport is a great place to visit, but an even greater place to live and own a business in. We purchased the building in December of 2010. We began renovating and repairing immediately.
My late husband, Steve, and I would come home to Rockport for family vacations. We lived in Las Vegas, Nevada at the time and frequented many of the coffee shops in the area and wherever we traveled. We said someday we’d move here and open up a coffee shop. In 2009 we lost Steve to Melanoma, 13 months after being diagnosed. My children and I moved back home to be close to my family. There was no Java Bay and no Starbucks. It seemed like the perfect time to open up that coffee shop Steve and I had talked about and bring our dream to life. Rockport Daily Grind opened on June 23, 2009 and from the beginning it seemed we needed more room.