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Khalil Younes

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  • Khalil Younes
    Khalil Younes

Khalil Younes, 60, of Bastrop, passed away Jan. 11, 2024.

Khalil was born Jan. 6, 1964, in Amioun, Lebanon. He came to the U.S.A. in 1982 with four other young men from his town, to attend college, escape the civil war in their old country and hoping to build a future.

Their families were strongly supportive of each other and lived like one family, and the young men held together as much as possible to support each other the same way upon arrival, strengthening their brotherly bond. Learning English when they got here, they attended college in Boston, Massachusetts, and then some of them moved to Austin, to continue college and build their careers. Some of those friends are still here in Austin.

Khalil met the love of his life, Tracey Mensing, in Austin, and they were married in 1989. Khalil and Tracey saved every penny and bought into his first restaurant with a friend in 1991, known as Café di Roma in Lincoln Village in Austin. A few years later, they sold the restaurant, and he found another location in N.W. Austin, which became known as Pavarotti Italian Restaurant.

Shortly after selling that restaurant in 2001, Khalil and Tracey were blessed with a child, Samir, in 2002. With the encouragement of a friend, Khalil purchased the Castle restaurant in Bastrop, which became Mama Mia Italian Garden, then Daddy’s Castle, before eventually operating as Cedar’s Mediterranean & Italian Grill as a partnership with his friend.

After Khalil had been commuting from Pflugerville for a year, Tracey and Samir relocated to Bastrop as well in 2003, loving the supportive community and family values.

Khalil loved taking care of his customers and appreciated every one of them. He was blessed with employees that became his extended family over the years, working with him, some for 20 years, speak of him so fondly, and even as a fatherly figure and friend to them and their families, even after moving on to other career positions. Thanks to an amazing show of community support during COVID, he came out a survivor among all the business closures and continued to thrive until his final closing day on his passing, Jan. 11, 2024.

He became a proud citizen of the U.S.A. in 1995, and was so thankful for the opportunity provided to him in America to make a new life, and he never forgot that. He lived and worked every day to contribute to his community and be the best Dad and Husband that he could be.

Khalil was preceded in death by his parents, Nehme and Hudba Younes; and his eldest brother, Samir, who lived in Quebec, Canada, with his own family.

He is survived by his wife, Tracey Younes; and their son, Samir, now 21 years old. Khalil is also survived by four sisters, one brother in Lebanon and one brother now in Boston.

There will be a celebration of his life memorial Friday, Jan. 19, at 11 a.m. at Providence Funeral Home, 2079 Hwy 71 E. in Bastrop.