Day Trips: The Sentinel, Marfa

Hip restaurant and bar is home to local newspapers

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

The Sentinel, at first glance, looks like any other ultrahip coffee shop, bar, restaurant, and art gallery in Marfa. The bright-white stucco walls with the terra cotta trim along the roof have a modern look with an Old Mexico accent.

This is no ordinary hipster coffee shop. The purchase of a latte, coffeetable book, or art piece helps support the local weekly newspapers – The Big Bend Sentinel and Presidio International.

On a typical afternoon, baristas busily create coffee drinks, pleasing aromas drift from the kitchen, and shoppers browse the shelves of books and art objects while a group of millennials discuss some topic. The food is excellent, the beer is cold, and the art is unique. Out back, the picnic tables on the dog-friendly patio are shaded and cooled by the desert breeze.

Whether you're just passing through or a resident, The Big Bend Sentinel has news you can use. Like a recent story about the county declaring an invasion from across the border, or an announcement from the national park of the discovery of oak trees once thought to be extinct.

Did you know that Big Bend National Park smashed visitation records during the pandemic? It was on the front page of The Big Bend Sentinel. Pick up a copy for only $1 the next time you're in the Marfa area. Or better yet, stop by for a plate of carne asada, a cocktail, and a T-shirt to support local journalism.

The Sentinel is at 209 W. El Paso St. in Marfa. The kitchen and bar are open Sunday through Thursday, 7:30am-3pm, and Friday and Saturday, 7:30am-6pm. Stop by for some really good food for a good cause.

1,611th in a series. Follow “Day Trips & Beyond,” a travel blog, at

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