Family. Hard work. Doing right.
These form the foundation upon which The McBee family are building a legacy — not only for their families, but for their community.
La Vernia natives, The McBees, have spent their entire lives here and where they are making a living – for their families and for the future. For us, family is not just our kids, our family has grown by more than 60. These people have the title of employees, but they are so much more than just employees. These are the people that make things happen and keep things going. We love to work aside fun hardworking individuals. And more so we love growing young people. One of our mottos is, “A leader’s job is to help others be better, not be their boss”. Since 2008, we have had many team members come through our doors. We have watched some grow from high school graduates to business owners of their own. We have watched others become tradesmen or follow their degrees. None of this would be possible without our core team that trains, teaches, and passes on years of knowledge from within our operations. We can’t forget to mention our mothers that work with us throughout the year walking around tying up loose ends and ensuring customers have what they need.
The Den was built in place of a beautiful stone house built in the mid 80’s that was torn down for construction purposes. The idea of the concept was dreamed up on Thanksgiving Day in 2011, by the McBees as they celebrated under the massive live oak trees with friends and family. Their trial run before construction was New Years Eve of 2014. Over 100 close friends and family members parked campers around the trees, BBQ’d, built a fire, had great music, a bounce house, and had a firework show that later set the standards for the city’s firework show. After that gathering the McBees knew the space was special and could create memories for many.
We love history and incorporated as much as we could into our construction. We saved some stone from the original house for use in the restaurant’s construction. Some of the stone was used for the outdoor fireplace. Other areas of interest are the outdoor light fixtures. They were built by us using old items from our family farm here in La Vernia. The box spring chandelier was from our great grandparents’ home, the wagon wheels, and other tractor implements all are from our family farm as well and are now used as light fixtures. The old fencing that surrounds the pavilion area is from The Pearl Brewery in SA. We buy and collect rusty fun stuff and plant flowers and trees to give the feel of a park or a vineyard. Recycled history at its best.
The Den opened its doors in January 2016 after nearly 2 years of design and permitting issues. There were struggles during opening years finding enough employees, and more recently COVID-19 forcing the doors to close. But the McBees are hardworking and persistent. Through all of life’s obstacles, success has been gifted and The Den has become a welcome addition to La Vernia’s business landscape. It’s become a favorite hangout in the community. Part of its success is the family-friendly atmosphere, including the fenced play area that is nearly 5000 sq ft, and the outdoor Tv’s and band stand for entertainment pleasure for all ages.
The Den family supports many local organizations like La Vernia Junior Livestock Show, LV Alumni, LV Education Foundation, LV Youth sports, local church groups and many other local benefits. The Den Family does not just support La Vernia, we are involved in many Wilson county and Guadalupe county events both sponsoring and volunteering.
“We have both adopted the idea that giving as much as we can has rewarded us many times over in many ways,” one of the owners explained in an interview shortly after the Den opened. “To be greedy or selfish creates heartaches and headaches. Do what’s right for others before yourself and no one can ever point a finger at you that you are unworthy of blessings or happiness.””