For the Buntin family, business is a family affair — literally. Over the last four years this large family has made the beautiful South Padre Island their home in the amazing state of Texas. “It’s a family-owned and -operated restaurant that we opened after falling in love with SPI,” said Brandy Buntin, co-owner of the cafe. “My dad’s roots run deep from Texas plus some of my brothers and sisters were born here and it’s always been a dream for the entire family to return.
While visiting the island a few years ago, Brandy said his family found an outdoor café, a diamond in the rough, that they saw the potential and the need of beautifying the area for the local community. Now named Lobo Del Mar Café.” The name Lobo Del Mar, is Spanish for Sea Wolf and was the name of the boat the Buntin family owned while in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Lobo Del Mar, located at 204 W. Palm Street in South Padre Island, specializes in waterfront dining, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “We’re a family-oriented business who want to attract family groups to the area. All ages are welcome, and we invite all to enjoy the bay in our restaurant/bar on the open-air deck.” Seven nights a week there is live entertainment from local artists. On Wednesday’s entertainment is Fam Jam, in which the family has a night to showcase their talents of music and dance they’ve learned from their travels around the globe. Every evening hats come off and hands over hearts as bagpipers pipe the sunset showing salute to God, country and support to our troops’ home and abroad.
The 200-foot dock at Lobo Del Mar is also home to SPI Excursions, a tourism business that offers parasailing, banana boat rides, fishing, jet ski rentals, sunset cruises, and more. Many other local companies like fishing guides work out of here as well. The dock is also open for boaters to dock and dine on the bay.
Brandy noted that business was booming during Lobo Del Mar’s first few years.
“And then we had to close for the pandemic,” he recalled. “But business quickly resumed right after we were allowed to reopen while following mandates put in place.” Like other businesses, Lobo Del Mar was ordered to shut down temporarily to deter public gatherings during the spread of COVID-19. “We would like to thank our local, valley and traveling customers for support.” Stated Brandy.
“We really try to promote other businesses along with ours,” Brandy said. “We’ve always been very successful with running our own businesses, but our success comes from working with other businesses and we really want to pursue that. Working together with other companies creates a sense of unity where everyone wins when we work together. It makes people feel like the island is one big family and most visitors that come down here feel the same.”