10 Nov A Flavorful Addition: Épicerie Joins Contemporary Austin
On March 21, 2018, The Contemporary Austin broke ground on Phase I of its Master Plan for the fourteen-acre Laguna Gloria—home to the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park, the Art School, and the Driscoll Villa. Executive Director and CEO Louis Grachos, together with chef and restaurateur Sarah McIntosh, are pleased to announce that McIntosh will launch a new concept—Épicerie at The Contemporary—as a key part of this transformation.
Situated right at the entrance to the iconic property, Épicerie at The Contemporary will feature fresh fare suited for eating on site or taking to-go. Signature Épicerie favorites, like the porchetta and pastrami sandwiches, the salmon and kale salad, and the restaurant’s broad selection of fine cheeses and charcuterie, will be on hand. A variety of new soups, salads, and sandwiches will be available, including baked goods, a coffee program, and wine and beer. Additionally, Épicerie’s new grocery line, consisting of packaged coffee, jams, chutneys, pickles, fermented goods, spice blends, and cookie mixes, will be available. Picnic packages, consisting of all of the above, will be available in limited-edition Laguna Gloria picnic bags. Along with McIntosh, Épicerie at The Contemporary will be helmed by General Manager Chloe Kennedy and Chef de Cuisine Keith Abate.
Guests will be invited to order at a walk-up window and may then enjoy their meal, snack, or drink within one of two gracious, shaded terraces, or find a picnic spot throughout the wooded sculpture park. The new café will be housed in a compact, modern steel and glass structure currently under construction. This building, together with the new visitor center and museum shop, pergolas, and renovated restroom facilities, was designed by Trahan Architects of New Orleans. Landscape architects Reed Hildebrand of Boston—who were hired in 2013 to design the full Laguna Gloria Master Plan—designed the terraces, walkways, and gardens surrounding the new entrance and café.
“In building a menu for Épicerie at The Contemporary, I’ve thought a lot about the sculpture park‘s visitors and the students of the Art School at Laguna Gloria who attend classes over and over again. I was an art major in college, so this really does come full circle for me,” McIntosh said. “A light bite, a cup of coffee, or a bottle of wine split by two is the perfect accompaniment to a day strolling the sculpture park grounds. The second location of Épicerie was much debated, and when this opportunity came up, we knew it made sense.”
“Enhancing the experience of our visitors is one of the top priorities for Phase I of the Laguna Gloria Master Plan, and a vibrant café is a key part of that,” said Louis Grachos. “I could not be more thrilled to be working with Sarah and her expert team. With Épicerie Café and Grocery in Rosedale, she has proven to be an incredibly insightful businessperson, anticipating what her guests really want from a neighborhood eatery and then delivering on those needs with expert skill in the kitchen and in the back office. I expect she will bring the same combination of shrewd business sense, thoughtful consideration of audience, and wonderful cooking to Épicerie at The Contemporary. I look forward to being both her partner and one of her best customers.”