Photo courtesy of Earlybird CBD

Earlybird CBD, one of the biggest Austin-based recreational hemp companies, has set its sights on Dallas-Fort Worth as its next migration destination for its THC-infused edible goodies.

These gummies and other products can now be found in 10 DFW-area grocery stores, boutiques, and spas. This is far more than any other expansion; although Earlybird is available in some other cities, it can only be found at one or two stores in each.

The company's decision to expand into North Texas came after developing relationships with prominent local media partners and shops, such as Julie Dobbs and Emily Jones of The Mom Game and Roy Pope Grocery, according to Earlybird co-founder and CMO Erik Culver.

"I would say Dallas 'chose us' in the sense that we've been fortunate to find some great media partners," said Culver in a release. "[T]hese connections have been a solid foundation to start introducing Earlybird to such a large metropolitan area."

This is not Earlybird's first plunge into the Metroplex; the company currently fosters a longterm partnership with Hiatus Spa and Retreat, which started in February for a special Valentine's Day promotion. The spa now stocks Earlybird products in Frisco, Plano, and Fort Worth locations, plus Dallas' Inwood Village and The Hill.

Since its founding in 2018, Earlybird has branched its product line to more than 100 Central Texas retailers. It is one of the first providers to create "full-spectrum" hemp edibles using natural THC. Each serving of the signature gummies and tinctures contain a legal amount of Delta 9 THC (about 2.5 mg).

"We think a micro-dose of THC from hemp is a fantastic way to take the edge off," the website says. "So whether you’re a hustling professional, a busy parent or retired age hobbyist, we think our gummies and tinctures can be a great compliment to your day."

Other Dallas-Fort Worth area retailers that now stock Earlybird CBD products include:

  • Davis Street Mercantile, Dallas
  • Ann's Natural Grocery and Nutrition, Arlington
  • Sunflower Shoppe, Colleyville
  • Roy Pope Grocery, Fort Worth
  • Sunflower Shoppe, Fort Worth
Photo courtesy of Saint Bernard

Dallas-based luxury retailer opens expansive new storefront in West Austin


A family-owned lifestyle retailer is bringing its designer apparel and modern sporting goods to the West Woods Shopping Center in Westlake.

Saint Bernard opened its first store in Dallas in 1978, selling designer fashion, swimwear, sportswear, and ski equipment. Since then, the business has expanded throughout Texas, opening locations in Southlake, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. They previously operated a storefront at the Domain, which closed in 2021.

In a press release, Saint Bernard COO Charlie Goyer expressed his team's excitement about the new Austin location, which spans 16,000 square feet.

“This new location is significantly bigger than our last, and we love the convenience and neighborhood feel of West Woods Shopping Center,” Goyer said.

To celebrate the opening of the new storefront, Saint Bernard will host a public grand opening event on May 11 from 5-8 pm. A swag bag valued at over $300 will be given to the first 50 guests, and hors d'oeuvres, local craft beer, wine, coffee, and other drinks will be provided. Music for the evening will be spearheaded by DJ Cassandra.

Some of the luxury brands shoppers can expect to see once the store is open include:

  • Peter Millar
  • ON
  • Aviator Nation
  • Hoka
  • AJE
  • Mother
  • Greyson
  • Faherty
  • Johnnie-O
  • Hunter Bell
  • Sea
  • Hunza G
  • Simkhai
One unique aspect of Saint Bernard stores is the ability for patrons to unwind in the dedicated lounge area and enjoy complimentary drinks, much like what will be served during the grand opening event.

Saint Bernard is located at at 3201 Bee Caves Road, Suite 142. The store will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Sundays from noon to 6 pm. More information can be found on saintbernard.com.

Photo by Brianna Caleri

Austin-based boot maker takes over storied Tesoros space on South Congress

Walking Up The Road

Tecovas, as a brand, is entering a similar hallowed space in Texas that Timberland occupies in New York. The Western boot maker puts out the best of the best in quality, and makes it look good. It puts in just the right touch of stylistic flair to be taken seriously in any environment, so it would make sense that its new flagship store is now open on South Congress Avenue, a trendy urban place surrounded with real reasons (on a wider radius, perhaps) to wear a work boot.

Tecovas Austin flagship interior.

Photo by Brianna Caleri

The new Tecovas flagship is a lot like the old South Congress location, but bigger.

The 4,0700-square-foot store on South Congress Avenue marks significant growth in the brand, which has only existed since 2015, when it started as an online, direct-to-consumer model. This is not the first Tecovas store in Austin, nor even on South Congress; just a block down the road the previous location with the recognizable cowhide mosaic quietly closed, announced via signs on the windows to make room for this location up the block in the old Tesoros Trading Company space, which closed this summer after 33 years, now almost completely unrecognizable.

The flagship proudly wears local art by muralist Federico Archuleta, whose work is recognizable around town in the form of mosaic-like Virgen de Guadalupe illustrations. The mural on the corner of South Congress and Elizabeth Street updates his existing Guadalupe, turning it into a candle beside Willie Nelson’s guitar in the foreground, and a Texas flag filling the wall behind it. Artists were working on the mural during an opening party on Friday, October 21.

Winemaker Becky Atkins was also onsite for the party, serving Summer Revival wines at the bar. It’s a fixture at all Tecovas location, welcoming customers with complementary drinks — in Austin that includes local products like Ranch Rider hard seltzers, Garrison Brothers bourbon, and “several” beers — but this one is one of the largest. Atkins reached out to Tecovas after recognizing a similar business model, with no middle man retailers and “no fluff.”

This location is one of five openings in Q4 alone, and it rounds out a 25 percent increase in the brand’s retail footprint across the entire year. The brand plans to open “approximately 15” more U.S. stores in the next year and a half. Similar to the previous South Congress location, the new space smells of leather, sells hats and other apparel, and anchors the area in the (South)west despite an increasingly bi-coastal vibe across Austin. With more sales space, it can store and sell more stock, but besides the expansion, it’s business as usual.

More information is available at tecovas.com.

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New restaurant in Austin suburb ventures through Texan cuisine with South African and Chinese twists

Around the world in 80 dishes

Sometimes you don't have to plan a pricey trip to travel around the world — all you have to do is drive to San Marcos, thanks to the new internationally flavored cuisine at Tarbox & Brown, open now.

Located inside Kissing Tree, a 55+ community (but don't worry, anyone can dine at Tarbox & Brown), the complex's newest signature restaurant boasts a seasonal rotating menu of dishes inspired by executive chef Chanel Beattie's life growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Beijing, China.

Disy by Tarbox & Brown in San Marcos

Photo by Jane Yun

The menu at Tarbox & Brown is sometimes quaint and Texan, and sometimes a bit more international.

Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Tarbox & Brown's name is a nod to the historic Brown and Tarbox Stagecoach Line, a crucial method of delivering communications between Austin and San Antonio back in the early 1800s.

“When creating the menu for Tarbox & Brown, I wanted to share dishes people hadn't experienced yet while also including some familiar favorites," said Beattie in a news release. "We’ll have Asian and Texan dishes, and some French-influenced items, as well. I, of course, also want to add some South African flavor. My team has so many recipes and treats for you to try, and we can’t wait for you to try them all."

For example, Beattie's South African Prego rolls — a steak-centric dish with spicy peri-peri sauce, tomatoes, red onions, leafy greens, and freshly baked bread — may broaden some diners' horizons (especially with the extremely reasonable $16 price tag). There will also be more standard burgers, sandwiches, and grilled cheeses on the menu.

Some nice details that sets Tarbox & Brown's menu apart include a complimentary cup of coffee with each order off of the breakfast menu, and affordable lunch options. T&B's serves multiple meal options priced under $20.

More reasonably priced, international meals with a Texas twang include a New Zealand spring rack of lamb served with honey butter rolls ($36); a 12-ounce Maple Bourbon ribeye served up with mashed potatoes and roasted seasonal vegetables ($33); and vegetarian options like an asparagus and mushroom risotto ($20).

The drink menu also follows a merciful pricing structure, with every signature cocktail coming in at $10 or less, including a white wine-based sangria and a tequila-based cocktail called the "Texas Valley Girl" that is essentially a sweetened paloma.

Having previously served as the executive chef at the four-star Michelangelo Hotel in New York City, chef Beattie also brings extensive baking experience to her tenure as Tarbox & Brown.

Tarbox & Brown is located at 201 Kissing Tree Ln., Bldg. 5, in San Marcos. Breakfast is served daily from 7-11 am, followed by a daily lunch service at different times: Saturday through Tuesday from 11 am-6 pm, and Wednesday through Friday from 11 am-4 pm. Right now, dinner service is only Wednesday through Friday, from 5-8 pm.

More information is available at tarboxandbrown.com. Reserve by calling 512-749-1031 and selecting extension 2.

Getting into Austin's next immaculate speakeasy is actually a secret — for now


Speakeasies have an interesting reputation in Austin. Residents of this "weird" city love a secret. They want to avoid the crowds and the newcomers, but "they" includes the crowds and the newcomers. It's complicated.

There is yet another new speakeasy in Austin, and fans of mystery and exclusivity may be pleased to hear that this time, it's not just a dimly-lit bar in a nondescript building. Visitors will have to follow word of mouth (and perhaps the bar, on social media) to learn a secret phone number, which they can then text to make a reservation.

So-called Trona, after a desert town in Death Valley and the mineral that serves as the base for baking soda, is hidden in plain sight. The colorful graffiti marks the spot for people who know what to look for, making this speakeasy one of the more attention-grabbing secret locales in the city, yet obscuring it nonetheless. An alley entrance (1812 E. 12th St.) ensures that few will be spotted entering.

Although it looks small, it's not tiny: There's enough seating for 49 guests in the "former shotgun bar" renovated under the artsy gaze of Tatanka Guerrero, a Chilean Marfa transplant whose other local triumphs include El Tigre Coffee Roasters, Camp East, and Cork & Screw.

Details are (naturally) sparse, but a release describes what awaits as an "intimate multi-part mixological journey that can't be fully experienced in one visit." The journey will be made in five portions, merging modern Japanese and traditional Oaxacan styles. It seems like these are meant to be juxtaposed rather than seamlessly combined, for air or fantasy or at least a little mystique.

The full bar and cocktail menu will highlight tequilas, mezcals, rare Japanese whiskeys, and "a plethora of natural wines," which will be announced soon.

There is already a phone number on Trona's website, but it does not connect when called. Sending a text leads to an automatic reply that the number is a landline. (Hey, those are mysterious nowadays.)

Trona is the most recent effort of the newly formed Doers and Dreamers Hospitality Group, which includes Guerrero's achievements listed above, as well as Arbor Food Park, which hosts some of Austin's best food trucks including the acclaimed Cuantos Tacos. If Trona matches the tone of its sibling concepts, Austinites can expect meticulous curation behind a slightly punky facade.

Trona is set to open sometime in October. An opening party will be announced soon (and probably covered by CultureMap in that week's food news column).

Hold that beer stein all month at these 10 Austin-area Oktoberfest events


It’s that wonderful time of the year when drinking German beer, eating brats, and shouting Prost with strangers is almost mandatory. Oktoberfest is back with its annual beer-filled festivities and Austin is ready for it.

Although the festival started in Munich, Germany, around 200 years ago, it has spread throughout the world as a way to celebrate German culture. Over the next few weeks, there will be Oktoberfest celebrations with all kinds of events for adults and kids alike with fun competitions, live music, and traditional German food and drinks.

Here’s a roundup of the best festivities in town, in October and beyond.

Banger’s Oktoberfest
September 28-30
Expect all-day fun at Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden, for the famous German restaurant's Oktoberfest celebrations. There will be special Texan and German beers on tap, live music, ceremonial firkin tapping, and stein-hoisting competitions. Food specials will include Schweinebraten (pork roast), warm German potato salad, Schnitzel sausage, and German potato cake. No reservations needed.

Easy Tiger's Oktoberfest (Weekend Two)
September 29 - October 1
Easy Tiger is offering a weekend full of celebrations with Oktoberfest-themed food, and limited-edition beers from Real Ale Brewing Company, Live Oak Brewing Company, and St. Elmo Brewing Co., among others. Each location will feature special events like a pretzel-eating contest (the winner gets free pretzels for one year!) plus stein-hoisting contest, polka bands, face painting, trivia, screen printing, and live music. No reservations needed.

Oktoberfest at Celis Brewery
September 30
For folks in North Austin, Celis Brewery will be celebrating Oktoberfest with beer and food specials — including German sausages and pretzels — face-painting, and stein-holding contests. The live music lineup starts with a DJ at 1 pm, followed by Polka band, The Hot Peppers, from 4-7 pm. No reservations needed.

Meanwhile Brewing
September 29 - October 1
Meanwhile Brewing has a packed weekend schedule with fun activities for all ages. There will be live music, Oktoberfest lager on draft all weekend, and exciting limited-edition food pairings such Bratwurst & Sauerkraut Pizza, pretzel ice cream, and Koji-brined pork schnitzel, among others. On Sunday, kids can enjoy their own stein-hoisting contest with prizes. Reserve on Eventbrite.

Loro's Oktoberfest pop-up
October 1
Loro is turning things up a notch by hosting an Oktoberfest pop-up on its patio featuring local breweries such as 512 Brewing Company, Vacancy Brewing, Meanwhile Brewing Co., and Live Oak Brewing Company. Attendees can expect Oktoberfest-inspired bites in addition to Loro’s regular Asian-inspired barbecue. Reserve on Eventbrite.

Locktoberfest (Downtown Lockhart)
October 6-8
The city of Lockhart is having an exciting Oktoberfest celebration with the launch of its first annual Locktobertfest. The weekend-long events will take place in participating shops, bars, and restaurants in the downtown area with live music, authentic German cuisine, and crafted drinks among other activities for those looking to explore the town. No reservations needed.

Austin Oktoberfest 2023
October 14
The German Texan Heritage Society is back with what the Austin Chronicle calls the “most authentic Oktoberfest in town.” The family-friendly event will feature fun activities such as pumpkin painting and bounce houses, plus live music all day at the historic German Free School. Tickets ($15, free for kids under 12) are available via Eventbrite.

Scholz Garten's Old World Wednesday series
Every Wednesday, October 25 - November 15
Another historic German spot since 1866, Scholz Garten, will have its own kind of celebration with Old World Wednesdays. Every Wednesday, patrons can expect live music from polka bands starting at 5:30 pm, plus German food and drink specials. No reservation needed.

The Loren's Oktoberfest BBQ with Brad Davis of Moody Tongue
October 26
For those who want a more upscale culinary experience, The Loren at Lady Bird Lake is hosting an Oktoberfest barbecue with renowned brewer Brad Davis of Moody Tongue as part of the hotel's ongoing Chef Series. Davis will be bringing a taste of the Michelin-starred Chicago brewery to the luxe rooftop restaurant. Reserve ($85, pre-paid) on OpenTable.

Wurstfest (New Braunfels)
November 3-12
Wurstfest will be closing the festivities with a bang — or many oom-pahs. This unique festival in New Braunfels will be honoring German culture all week long with music, carnival rides, German Texan beer, and of course, all the wurst you can eat! Admission (starting at $18) and drink tickets will be sold at the gates, but can also be purchased on Etix.