Our History

The Little Rhein Steak House is situated in the Bombach House in historic La Villita.

The Coahuiltecan Indians founded a settlement here in the 1500s, and in the early 18th century Spanish soldiers and Canary Islanders established a village on the site. The Mexican General Santa Anna encamped here during the battle of the Alamo. During the 19th century, German immigrants designated this area as the Little Rhein district, hence the name Little Rhein Steak House.

In 1847, Otto Bombach, a carpenter, built the first two-story structure here for his family. The Bombach House was thereafter utilized as an early Texas home, a boarding house, a grocery store and bar, a private school, and a hangout for desperados.

The San Antonio Conservation Society purchased the Bombach House in 1950. Soon thereafter, the lower rooms of the building were rediscovered during renovation, hidden under silt. The house served as an antique shop, a historic museum, and as headquarters for the San Antonio Press Club during the following years.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank W. Phelps established the Little Rhein Steak House in 1967.

In 1972 the Bombach House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.




“The food was fabulous, the wine was perfect, and the atmosphere was totally enchanting. All that, coupled with beautiful weather, was more than we could have hoped for. It was a spellbinding affair that will be remembered fondly for those in attendance.”

– Barbara Zars, San Antonio, Texas