Historic Rural Hangout Reopens, Owner Expects Big Weekend

The store is a popular weekend hangout. (File)
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MCLENNAN COUNTY (January 3, 2014) The historic Tokio Store is again open for business and owner Al Cinek, who just weeks ago feared he would have to close the popular rural hangout permanently, is expecting a big weekend.

Last month the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District shut the store down and gave Cinek a list of things to do and not much time in which to do them.

The health district suspended the store’s food permit, barred it from serving beverages or operating its kitchen, and gave Cinek 20 days to correct a list of problems including a leaky dumpster.

Since then, Cinek has replaced the dumpster, poured a concrete slab with curbs to contain any leakage and run water to the dumpster site so any leakage can be cleaned up.

Cinek was also told he needed to install a water meter.

The cost of the improvements totaled about $5,000, and initially Cinek feared he would have to shutter the store.

But customers and residents rallied to support the store and more than $5,000 was raised to help cover the cost of the required improvements.

“I was probably going to just give it up,” Cinek said, "but all the musicians and the biker community, friends, cowboys, and all got together raised the money and those are the ones I want to thank.”

“I got a lot of support from the county and other people, too,” he said.

The store five miles southwest of West, which dates back to the late 1800s, is a popular weekend hangout for bikers and visitors who come to "drink beer, and have good clean fun" Cinek says.