Chef Mark Schmidt is behind the new restaurant Blackbird & Henry which has been quietly getting ready to open at 3016 Guadalupe. The chef ran the acclaimed Café 909 in Marble Falls until its shutter in 2008, and worked in Houston kitchens like Rainbow Lodge and Brasserie 19. Blackbird and Henry is aiming to open in mid-February for dinner, with lunch and brunch launching soon after. From the press release:
Chef Schmidt's menu will feature a collaboration of his most notable dishes, paying homage to Café 909, along with new creations inspired by his British upbringing and travels through Europe and North America. Lunch and dinner menus will offer an oyster and raw bar selection, starters, rotisserie specials and desserts.Sommelier Shelly Schmidt will be curating the wine list, and Austin-based Well+Done is doing the design. The full press release is below.
Chef Mark Schmidt Returns to the Austin Culinary Scene· All Coming Soon Coverage [EATX]
Hill Country converges with elevated dining and spirits at Blackbird and Henry
AUSTIN, TEXAS (January 21, 2014) – Celebrated Chef Mark Schmidt, widely known for his culinary achievements at the renowned Café 909, announced today plans for his newest venture, Blackbird and Henry. The neighborhood tavern is set to open mid-February at 3016 Guadalupe Street Suite 100 at the southwest corner of 31st Street and Guadalupe Street in the heart of Central Austin.
Throughout his 35 years as a chef and restaurateur, Chef Schmidt has visualized opening a comfortable, neighborhood restaurant designed for guests to gather and relax while enjoying a collection of his favorite and award-winning dishes and imbibing on carefully selected spirits, wines and ales.
"Blackbird and Henry is a place to hang out and unwind after work, gather with friends for curry and pint night, and enjoy quality food," says Chef Schmidt. "My Austin regulars from Café 909 will find a few of their favorites on the menu along with new twists and surprises that I hope will delight a wide variety of guests."
Chef Schmidt's menu will feature a collaboration of his most notable dishes, paying homage to Café 909, along with new creations inspired by his British upbringing and travels through Europe and North America. Lunch and dinner menus will offer an oyster and raw bar selection, starters, rotisserie specials and desserts. Chef Schmidt is dedicated to sourcing ingredients from local farmers and independent suppliers including Dyer Dairy of Georgetown and Houston Dairymaids, among others. In partnership with Lara Nixon of Boxcar Bar Consulting, the drinks menu will offer local craft ales, cocktails on tap and a wine list created by Mark's wife Shelly Schmidt, who is an experienced sommelier.
While traveling in Northern England, Chef Schmidt and Shelly were brainstorming names for their new concept at a pub. The two were seated under an ivy covered patio where blackbirds were perched nearby. Shelly suggested the name "Blackbird and Ivy" and after adding a touch of home, the two chose "Blackbird and Henry" for their neighborhood tavern, named after their playful Labradoodle, Henry.
With the restaurant concept and name in place, Chef Schmidt and Shelly teamed up with Well + Done Design for Blackbird and Henry's design.
"Taking a space featuring a dated franchise and visualizing its potential is the fun part," says Alisa Weldon, owner and creator at Well + Done Design. "Mark and Shelly gave us the inspiration to drive home what the brand should promise and we know it won't disappoint from the food, environment, location and spirits. There is truly something for everyone at Blackbird and Henry."
Blackbird and Henry will offer patrons a warm and welcoming atmosphere featuring salvaged antique brick walls, wooden accents, and a concrete bar and communal style table for social gatherings. Located at 3016 Guadalupe Street Austin, Texas 78705, Blackbird and Henry will serve dinner seven days a week from 5 p.m. to midnight, opening for lunch and brunch shortly after opening. For more information, please visit www.blackbirdandhenry.com. Follow Blackbird and Henry on Twitter @HenryBlackbird and Facebook.