The casual counter-service restaurant’s menu includes sandwiches like the hot honey biscuit, salads, pasta, risotto, and a few simple desserts such as buttermilk pie and brownies. The restaurant also serves coffee.
Co-owner and chef Sarah Heard fell in love with the building on her daily commute into Austin through Lockhart. She developed the menu based on messages about what people wanted in a restaurant on the town’s discussion board.
Heard and co-owner and chef Nathan Lemley signed the Lockhart lease right before the governor closed Texas dining rooms in light of COVID-19 in March, and as Heard said, the pair “had a small panic attack and then pulled up our pants and doubled down to make sure things survived.”
Commerce Cafe has a similar logo to Foreign & Domestic, which Heard said was done intentionally to signify that the restaurants are related. “However,” she added, “this pig is younger and more relaxed,” compared to Foreign’s logo, “much like the cafe. A little sister if you will.”
Heard and Lemley will alternate working at the Lockhart and Austin restaurants. Commerce is open for dinner currently from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There are plans to expand to lunch, breakfast, and catering.
The duo took over Foreign & Domestic from original founder Ned Elliott in 2017.