Austin's massive new public marketplace reveals first round of restaurants

Austin's new public marketplace reveals first round of restaurants

Saint Elmo Public Market rendering South Austin 2015
St. Elmo market has spilled the details on its first three food vendors. Rendering courtesy of Andersson-Wise Architects

St. Elmo Public Market, an ambitious development similar to Seattle's Pike Place or New York City’s Chelsea Market, announced on April 13 that construction has begun and three tenants have signed on. 

First announced in 2015, St. Elmo will include a boutique hotel, office space, 385 apartment units, and a monster 40,000-square-foot public market. The indoor-outdoor space will house a variety of restaurants, a butcher, fishmonger, bakeries, florists, and a brewery among its vendors.

The project was conceptualized by Andersson-Wise Architects and will be built on the former site of a school bus factory. Partner Arthur Andersson looked to preserve the character of the midcentury warehouse in the design, saying in a release that “the beautiful steel structure and clerestory monitor windows of the original 1950 warehouse have been carefully renovated, providing dramatic natural light and vintage materiality to this new market space."

The first vendors come from some of the biggest names in Austin food. First up is Mignette, from Olamaie chef and owner Michael Fojtasek. Following the recent shift in Austin to more casual all-day restaurants, the eatery will offer an accessible menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — available for dining in-house or from a takeout counter.

Salt & Time will expand its operation to include a new concept that celebrates local producers. In addition to a butcher shop with the restaurant’s acclaimed cured meats, the location will sell fresh produce grown by area farms, dry goods, meal kits, and a selection of frozen goods.

Lastly, Texas Hill Country Olive Company will bring its award-winning olive oils to the market. Owners John Gambini and daughter Cara Gambini run a destination olive orchid and tasting room in Dripping Springs, but the Austin shop will be the first proper retail outlet for the brand.

Throughout 2018, the development will continue to announce more vendors, including a brewpub, chocolate company, seafood shop, coffee shop, and a few fast casual concepts expected in the next 60 days. The space, located off South Congress Avenue between Industrial Boulevard and St. Elmo Road, is set to debut in spring 2019.