Bastrop has just a little more culinary art. “Texas’s Most Historic Small Town” is the new home of renowned Austin chef Sonya Cote’s newest culinary venture, Store House Market + Eatery, which opens on Wednesday, January 6th.
The restaurant and market, which highlight seasonal produce and hyperlocal ingredients as expected by Austin’s top chef, are located downtown at 813 Main St. in a historic two-building complex that has a sprawling courtyard and bar inside Includes indoor and outdoor areas. and lots of local charm.
The nearly 175-year-old property, on the corner of Main Street and Pine Street and home to a host of fascinating establishments, including a funeral home and brothel, has been converted into anything but a garden-themed restaurant. The new Eden East Farm, which Cote and her husband and partner David Barrow uprooted from their previous home on Springdale Road in East Austin last year, is now in bloom on 5 acres just 1 mile from Store House, and will be on the go – to the supplier for the restaurant and the market.
While you can bet the Farm Store House is a contrast to the more salty eateries on the downtown streets of Bastrop, Cote, known for their Eden East and Hillside Farmacy restaurant concepts, hasn’t put down roots on a visionary venture regardless of the impact on the local community. As such, she ensures that every element of Store House – from the menu and beverage offerings to the store’s supplies to decor and design – promotes the local suppliers and ingredients as well as the history of the property.
Scratch-made Comfort Food will anchor the Store House menu, including Cote’s take on Mediterranean classics like Chicken Quail Knots, Butternut Queso, Smoked Pork Chop, Grilled Shrimp, Smothered Vegetables, and Gumbo, served alongside signature dishes like Cotes Smoked Vegetables Farm BQ and grass-fed burger.
The hyperlocal approach extends to the drinks menu as well, with Store House drinks director Brian Floyd of The Line and Weather Up bringing out a range of cocktails and new versions of classic cocktails made with locally sourced ingredients. Beer and wine from local wineries and breweries, including the 602 Brewing Company from Bastrop, round off the drinks menu.
Preserved architectural features, including hand-painted Mexican tiles from the 1890s and original wooden doors, adorn the space alongside original Eden East farm tables that Cote made from loblolly lost pines salvaged after the Bastrop County forest fires in 2011 that will become the main dining room also act as an art gallery. Legendary Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater shows off his mosaic work and other pieces.
Cote’s new company (dubbed “East of Eden East” on social media) could be a rosy example of the grass in Bastrop being greener. With Cote’s Eden East Farm just around the corner and Bastrop ripe for more growth in the hospitality industry, the Austin suburb seems like the ideal place for Cote to turn a new page.
The 2018 sale of Springdale Farm in East Austin forced the cook to close down her beloved on-site Eden East restaurant and relocate the farm. But Cote got creative, replanted their Eden East Food Truck at the Desert Door Distillery in Driftwood, where it now functions as Eden West, and moved the farm to Bastrop. Under a lease that Cote signed with developer PSW Real Estate (now StoryBuilt), the new mixed-use development moving into the former Springdale Farm property will include a stationary Eden East restaurant location, as well as a microfarm and farm estate .