SAY CHEESE

Local charcuterie shop spreads out with artful new cafe in West Austin

Local charcuterie shop spreads out with artful new cafe in West Austin

Spread & Co. at Laguna Gloria Austin cheese boxes
Charcuterie and cheese-centric cafe Spread & Co. is opening a new location at Laguna Gloria.  Courtesy of Spread & Co.

Laguna Gloria's transformation continues with the addition of Austin charcuterie boutique Spread & Co. The cheese-centric café opens February 4 at Laguna Gloria, The Contemporary Austin’s 14-acre art complex at 3809 W. 35th St.

Spread & Co. is nestled into a modern glass-and-steel kiosk at the main entrance of the shaded property, the space formerly occupied by Épicerie at The Contemporary, which closed in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Spread & Co. maintains its original location at Jefferson Square, opened in 2016 by owners Rosemary and Austin Ewald, the new location at Laguna Gloria offers a new dining option for museumgoers, as well as residents of the nearby Tarrytown, Highland Park, and Balcones neighborhoods.

Just steps from the campus’ sprawling sculpture park, Spread & Co. at Laguna Gloria features a menu focused on portability and graze-ability that includes a variety of curated cheeseboards, cured meats, and breads, as well as the house-made jams, pickles, and dips the biz is known for. Also available are an array of breakfast items and coffee beverages, sandwiches and toasts, salads, baked goods, shareables, and, of course, selections from Spread & Co.’s “cheese n things” menu. Beer and wine will be added to the menu once the eatery’s liquor license is operational.

Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, Spread & Co.’s new Laguna Gloria location will offer online ordering and curbside pickup, and in-person ordering solely at its walk-up window, with museum members getting a discounted rate on food and drinks. Covered outdoor seating is available, and Laguna Gloria ticket holders have access to several picnic tables scattered on the property.

“We, of course, had some hesitations about the timing, but as far as openings during a pandemic go, we couldn’t have envisioned anything more perfect,” Spread & Co.’s Rosemary Ewald says. “The Contemporary at Laguna Gloria is such a special, historic place, completely open-air and handling COVID in such a responsible way. Guests can feel safe making a ticket reservation ahead of time and grabbing some food and coffee to enjoy outdoors while walking the grounds — the perfect activity to get out of the house for some fresh air and a little exercise.”

Though Spread & Co. is the newest addition to Laguna Gloria, it’s not the only upgrade the museum has experienced of late, with the property recently undergoing a multi-year, multimillion-dollar renovation that included the addition of new works of art, a museum shop, an arrival garden, more shaded areas, and the café space.  

Nicole Chism Griffin, director of communications for The Contemporary Austin, says the museum was in talks with the Spread & Co. owners for several months about the project, noting the partnership is a good fit.

“Spread & Co.’s menu is really well-suited for picnics throughout the 14 acres of art and nature at Laguna Gloria, or — once we are able — a nice lunch at a table in the covered terraces surrounding the main entrance to the sculpture park,” she says. “Even during COVID, we have been able to host occasional socially distanced outdoor films and other small events at the museum. Now picture sitting in the amphitheater at dusk with a beautifully crafted grazing board and a glass of wine or a really nice coffee. It’s just perfect!”

Spread & Co. at Laguna Gloria will be open Thursday through Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm.