There haven’t been many updates for the presumably forthcoming massive South Austin food hall St. Elmo Public Market in quite, quite some time. But Eater can confirm that several of the planned restaurants are no longer opening in the long-delayed development as of August 2022. And now, it turns out that the 4329 South Congress Avenue space in East Congress neighborhood has been up for sale since July 2022, as reported by Community Impact.
The biggest planned restaurant attached to St. Elmo was supposed to be Mignette, an all-day diner and bakery from the team behind lauded Southern restaurants Olamaie and Little Ola’s. Michael Fojtasek, the founder/owner/chef of the restaurants under parent company MaieB Hospitality, confirms that the restaurant isn’t opening at St. Elmo anymore in 2022. He also said there are “no plans at the moment” to open Mignette elsewhere, but that the company is working on opening a location of its casual biscuit shop Little Ola’s somewhere in downtown Austin.
Also not opening is a location of Austin coffee company and cafe Greater Goods Coffee Co. In 2022, co-founder Trey Cobb writes to Eater that they “shifted our focus to other projects.” This would’ve been Cobb’s and co-founder Khanh Trang’s third Austin-area cafe.
Finally, Hawai‘i-based farmers market stand Fire Dance Pizza isn’t opening its first mainland wood-fired pizzeria either. Co-founders Shannon Wiener and Alex Webster write to Eater over Instagram direct message that they “decided not to move forward,” and have moved back to Hawai‘i to work on a retail fruit vinegar business in 2022.
Still pegged for St. Elmo is Austin’s Salt & Time, which will entail a restaurant and butcher shop like the original spot, plus a produce market. Co-owner Ben Runkle writes to Eater that “the project is delayed and we don’t have any concrete timeline” as of yet in 2022. Community Impact reports that the restaurant is still tied to the food hall. Runkle told the publication that he hopes the new buyer “will move forward with the project.”
Initially, St. Elmo’s developers were Carlin Company, Makers Bros., and Fenix Global Investments. They announced their plans in 2015, with the goal of opening in 2018, and then 2019, and then the pandemic delayed it to potentially 2021. When asked about the development in 2022, Andy Carnahan of Makers Bros. writes that current plans are “too fluid to talk about.” The sales listing includes only Makers and Fenix as the current owners.
The St. Elmo development is supposed to also include office space, apartments, a hotel, and other retail shops. The apartment building, St. Elmo Apartments, has already opened. St. Elmo’s architecture firm Andersson Wise told Community Impact that they “ simply don’t know what happened, other than the project went on hold.”
The sale listing is asking for $22,500,000 for the over-nine-acre development, including the food hall and office buildings. Eater has reached out to Carnahan for additional information, as well as Fenix Global Investments, but that email bounced back.
Other originally pegged businesses that are no longer opening in St. Elmo include what would’ve been a second location of Dripping Springs brewery Family Business Beer Co. (from Supernatural actors Jensen and Danneel Ackles) and what would’ve been a new shop from local frozen sweets mini-chain Lick Honest Ice Creams. The two businesses had been announced back in 2018, but both confirmed they dropped out in June 2021.
Update, May 24, 2023, 1:09 p.m.: This article, originally published on August 24, 2022, 2:13 p.m., has been updated to include information about St. Elmo Public Market’s sale.