The St. Elmo Public Market, a massive, 40,000-square-foot space pegged as Austin’s version of New York’s Chelsea Market and Seattle’s Pike Place Market, is finally set to open this year. Located at 4329 South Congress Avenue in the — you guessed it — St. Elmo area of the East Congress neighborhood, the market will be home to new concepts and new locations from some of Austin’s best restaurants.
The St. Elmo project was announced in 2015, so there is a lot of anticipation for the market, which is a former school bus factory and furniture store. It was originally scheduled to open in 2018. Adding to the excitement are superstar tenants like a new restaurant from award-winning Southern restaurant Olamaie, and a wine bar expansion of East Austin butcher shop and restaurant Salt & Time. Two original tenants have dropped out (see below), but a rep for the market shared that the entire space is leased out already, with both local and non-local businesses.
Here is a complete guide to what to expect from the hotly anticipated market when it opens this year (fingers crossed).
Olamaie and Little Ola’s owner and James Beard Award finalist chef Michael Fojtasek’s contribution to St. Elmo is Mignette, a diner, and bakery. Mignette is an all-day restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner for dine-in service and a to-go counter. Options include light vegetable dishes, sandwiches, Southern meat-and-three plates (like chicken-fried steak and three sides), and biscuits and gravy. The main focus will be the bakery, helmed by Carlyle Watt, previously the head baker at Fire Island Rustic Bake Shop in Anchorage, Alaska, and 2017 James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Baker. Watt will bake bread, pastries, and croissants that are a mix of Texas seasonal produce and French techniques. Mignette will also have St. Elmo’s only cocktail bar.
The East Seventh butcher shop, restaurant, and wine bar is expanding to St. Elmo with ... a butcher shop, produce stand, and wine bar. The produce stand will feature items from local farmers (this is a familiar environment for Salt & Time, as the restaurant had shifted to a grocery store during the COVID-19 pandemic). The wine bar will feature wines curated by the restaurant’s new beverage director Erika Widmann.
Fire Dance Pizza
Hawaiian farmers market stand Fire Dance Pizza is opening its first-ever restaurant in the stateside region at the market. The stand is known for wood-fired pizza made with a sourdough crust.
The charitable Hill Country coffee mini-chain will also open in the marketplace. Greater Good makes an effort to ethically source beans and donates part of the proceeds of each bag to one of four Austin nonprofits. If the St. Elmo location is like the other Austin cafes, it will offer coffee drinks, tea, pastries, and bags of coffee beans.
No Longer Part of St. Elmo
Family Business Beer Co.: The Dripping Springs brewery from Supernatural co-star Jensen Ackles is still planning to open a taproom in Austin city limits, but it will no longer be a part of St. Elmo.