In an era filled with sudden restaurant openings and closures, one historic Austin space is getting an update. The Green Pastures restaurant re-opens Wednesday, March 1, with a new name but the same nostalgic feel.
In the summer of 2015, local developer Greg Porter and a cadre of investors assumed ownership of the South Austin icon. The famed restaurant and event space closed in early 2016 for renovations, which included the addition of a new boutique hotel. Helping lead the project is co-owner Jeff Trigger, founder and president of La Corsha Hospitality Group, the Austin-based firm behind influential restaurants Second Bar + Kitchen, Boiler Nine Bar + Grill, and now-closed Restaurant Congress.
The moniker Green Pastures applies to the entire property, while the restaurant will now be known as Mattie's, named after Martha "Mattie" Miner Faulk, one of the original owners.
Executive chef Joshua Thomas (formerly of Chaat Stop) has created an American menu that incorporates new dishes with beloved Green Pastures elements such as Sunday brunch. An impressive beverage program comes courtesy of La Corsha all-stars Jason Stevens and Paula Rester.
"Mattie's reintroduces an experience that will take you to a distant place, only a mile from downtown Austin," says Porter in a release.
Other updates to Green Pastures entail "gentle modifications to the exterior of the existing historic house, including adding a new event entrance and restoring the facade of the original settlers house, which will become the reception for the future hotel," Scott Walker, vice president of operations at La Corsha, told CultureMap last year.
The 99-room hotel is called The Faulk, another homage to the original owners, and is slated to debut in 2018. For private events, there are now four options from which to choose: Marion Hall, The Mezzanine, a private dining room, and an outdoor pavilion.
"The development team has taken a preservationist approach to the entire project in order to maintain the natural integrity of the site," said Walker. "The grounds are such an important part of the project and the neighborhood, and we have been diligent to minimize the footprint of the overall development."
La Corsha oversaw the multimillion-dollar renovation of the St. Anthony Hotel in downtown San Antonio and the Stoneleigh Hotel in Uptown Dallas, as well as the revamp of The Driskill Hotel, Mansion on Turtle Creek, Adolphus Hotel, and the new Hotel Saint George in Marfa.
The group is also opening a hip Austin hotel on East Sixth Street in the former Wonderland space. Details are still being finalized, but construction is underway. "They are all special in one way or another, but personally, the East Austin hotel is the one I’m looking most forward to," said Walker in a previous interview.. "I think the property will be very accessible to the local neighborhood and travelers alike."