An abandoned former gas station at the corner of 12th Street and North Lamar Boulevard will soon see new life. Tavern Market, a hybrid food and retail concept will open by the mid-summer, says co-founder Terry Chastain.
Partnering with Chastain is Michael Shelton, owner of Esther’s Follies, The Tavern, and the late Liberty Lunch. Chastain is no stranger to iconic business himself, having run Momi Toby’s Revolution Cafe & Art Bar in San Francisco before it shuttered in 2016.
The building, located in the middle of a parking lot that serves The Tavern, will be the focal point of a makers market selling locally made goods like T-shirts, candles, and original art, including some made by Chastain himself. Although he says that the concept will be “more makers than farmers,” organic produce will also be available.
Chastain says the parking lot will be scattered with 15 to 17 tents on weekends with three reserved for local nonprofits. A small stage by the kiosk building will entertain the weekend crowds with sets by Austin musicians. Once approvals are finalized, he plans to use the wall facing the lot for a series of ever-changing murals.
Food will be served from a custom trailer permanently parked on the lot. Shelton and Chastain haven’t decided on the name yet, but it will serve coffee, breakfast tacos, and German fare similar to The Tavern’s menu.
Chastain says Tavern Market will initially be open during weekend days, but there’s a “good possibility” they will extend operation to five days a week, but only during mornings because The Tavern fills the lot at night.
If all goes according to plan, the team hopes to have a soft opening during the July 4 weekend, but Chastain notes that he is doing the bulk of the work himself, including painting the building.
“I’m a one-man band,” he jokes.