In 1930, Harry Burmeister opened Harry B’s at 1925 Speight Avenue. Burmeister, a former Baylor student and founding member of the Noze Brothers society, developed the small restaurant, soon making it a local favorite. The original restaurant consisted of a small kitchen with only a bar area for seating.
The name of the restaurant changed to George’s Bar when George Betros bought it in 1966. During this time, Betros introduced southern favorites such as chicken-fried steak to the menu.
Betros sold George’s Bar to local restaurateurs Sammy Citrano, David Tinsley, and Glen Screws in 1993. At that time, Citrano and Tinsley owned and operated another local favorite restaurant, the Elite Café. However, Citrano desired to run his own business, and in 1995 sold his rights to the Elite to Tinsley and paid nearly $700,000 to buy out Tinsley and Screws.
After taking over control of George’s, Citrano redesigned the restaurant to appeal to local sports fans and families. It has become a popular gathering place for Wacoans, Baylor students and fans, and visitors passing through the city alike. In 1997, Waco native and songwriter Pat Green immortalized the restaurant’s history in his original song “George’s Bar.”
Citrano also expanded the restaurant’s catering business, which has since been recognized throughout the country by notable figures such as George W. Bush and Barbara Walters. In 2000, Citrano developed the building across the street from the restaurant into a banquet hall originally known as George’s Too.
George’s transformation from a small, local gathering place to a restaurant blending together a sports bar atmosphere with family dining has established its long-standing reputation within the community.