English pastries and afternoon tea
by Nadia Chaudhury Nov 11, 2016, 10:20am CST
While Brentwood Social House, the neighborhood cafe on West Koenig Lane, pegged its opening day for Monday, it is soft open right now. Co-owners Suzanne Daniels and Sarah Olano transformed the former clothing boutique into a cafe that feels just like a home.
Brentwood Social maintains the structure of a house, with multiple nooks and crannies for guests to explore. The pair wanted to "create special little places" for guests. It’s supposed to serve as a "community space," Daniels explained.
Daniels acquired chairs and tables from the neighborhood listserve. There’s a central dining room and the intimate quiet room meant for those looking to work without noise and distractions. The bright and sunny family room includes a play area for children complete with small chairs and toys. Daniels turned the previous tenant’s wine wall into a display for teapots and toys.
Orders are placed in the main room, where pastries and coffee are made on a giant bold teal counter made up of assorted drawers Daniels rummaged together from bulk pickups. A giant mural is in the process of being painted on the side, which will include a map of the neighborhood.
As for the baked foods: Olano, who is the cafe's baker, wanted to "bring English food to Austin," which meant the English- and French-leaning menu features quiches, sausage rolls, pies (both savory and sweet), cakes, and assorted pastries (Millionaire Bar, Victoria Sponge cake, Fat Rascal scones, Bakewell tarts). Eventually there will be a vegan curry pie. And yes, everything can be toasted. For drinks, there is coffee from charity-minded Greater Goods and tea from Zhi. Afternoon tea service will be added in the coming month.
Wifi is available throughout the space, including the outdoor patio with picnic tables and outdoor plugs. An herb garden is in the process of being planted for baker Olano’s cooking use.
Stained glasses from Daniels’ mother line several windows, and there are future plans to hang up work from local artists. They kept an old rose-adorned mural ("Beautiful from the inside out") from the house’s former life.
Hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.