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Major Changes for Round Top

New Town Square Brings a Young Developer’s Restoration Vision Into Focus

BY // 09.21.17

When we first met young developer Mark Massey in 2015, he had finally acquired an entire block in Round Top after four years of persistence, which he quickly renamed Rummel Square after its street address (which was named after one of Round Top’s original families). Armed with a background working for Trammel Crow in Los Angeles and a passion for restoration, he has spent the past few years sprucing up the square and relocating historic buildings here (including the oldest structure in Fayette County, Moore’s Fort from 1832, and a beautiful 1914 farmhouse).

While he’s still adding landscaping touches (Texas meets the English countryside), Massey’s vision has largely been realized: The square is now a highlight of the town with new shops and restaurants.

Townsend Provisions

Photographer Ryann Ford and Nick Mosley’s charming shop Townsend Provisions has been open throughout the renovations, but they debuted their second floor this month, doubling the retail space. It’s a go-to for vintage cowboy boots, “Howdy from Round Top” tees, and Americana finds. Nick’s mom, Linda Caraway-Mosley, runs the shop when the duo hit the road for picking (both vintage and new) trips.

Espressions Coffee & Art

Carolyn and Johnnie McNellie’s coffee shop, is housed in an 1880s bungalow that Massey recently moved to the square. It’s the spot to pick up a little town gossip over a scone and latte, and borrow a book from their lending library. If you time it right, Johnnie may be singing some Frank or Tony on his piano keyboard; rock on the porch and just listen. They also host pop-ups at various antiques shows in the area — if you see the Espressions sign, you can bet it will be a good cup of joe.

House Rummel

Susan Horne’s Houston antique shop has long been a go-to for Memorial denizens. Horne is also a Round Top antiques show veteran, and now, she and daughter Meghan Horne, have opened House Rummel, which carries home goods and gifts chicly displayed with antique furniture sourced from Europe. They also show during fall antiques week at Market Hill.

Curate by Stash

In the neighboring town of Sealy, Cheryl Schulke’s Stash Co is located in the old Haynes mattress factory, circa 1909. With a mission of mindfulness over mass production, her artisans craft leather into beautiful bags, journals, wallets, and other accessories.

Now Schulke has opened Curate by Stash in a 1910 farm house, designed with a nod to the factory, stocking Stash bags, reclaimed furniture, art, essential oil apothecary items, and textile goods from Boyds, Miranda Bennett, Salt + Still, Graham Keegan, and Lola Harper James. Curate by Stash will also host pop-ups in the store with The Sabah Dealer, artists, and chefs during the antiques shows.

Bad Hombres

Twenty years ago, Houston restaurateur Armando Palacios saved a picture of a historic fort, with the vision of one day having a shop in such a structure. He even began collecting inventory for it. The vision was realized when he learned that Mark Massey was moving Moore’s Fort, an 1832 twin blockhouse, to Rummel Square.

Bad Hombres, opening late October, uses the fort’s two sides to offer a men’s shop on one side and a lifestyle shop on the other. In a departure from the French antiques that pervade Round Top, the men’s side takes cues from stylish bad hombres of history — Steve McQueen, Benicio Del Toro, Lenny Kravitz — with a collection of 300 vintage leather motorcycle jackets, plus flannel shirts and denim. The other side holds a minimalist collection of rare vintage and modern furniture, lighting, and home accessories.

The Garden Company Café & Nursery

Stevie and Jeff Thompson’s The Garden Co. Marketplace and Café has been a Schulenburg favorite since it opened in 1999. Now they’ve added a Round Top outpost, The Garden Co. Café — Feed & Firewater, in a 1914 farmhouse moved by Massey to Rummel Square.

Chef Kenny Kopecky prepares homespun dishes with fresh local fare. The interior is designed in a modern rustic style, but we recommend sitting on the patio beneath the 200-year-old oak tree. The Thompsons also offer landscape design and will soon open a companion nursery. Small-town story: The descendants of the home’s original inhabitants came to the restaurant and were happy to see that their family home had been restored and turned into a gathering spot for locals.

Spirits Shop

Perhaps the most anticipated by locals is a soon-to-come spirits shop. When it opens, stocking Texas craft beer, top-shelf spirits, and handmade cigars, the proprietor may just become Round Top’s next hero.

A Pop-Up dinner at The Compound (photo by Natalie Lacy Lange)
A Pop-Up dinner at The Compound (photo by Natalie Lacy Lange)

The Compound Carries On — Compounding Our Happiness

In addition to his Rummel Square projects, Massey’s The Compound’s antiques show keeps gaining momentum. This year, the show runs through Saturday, September 30. New vendors include Connecticut-based dealer Summer House; Athen, Texas-based Winnie and Tallula (beautiful bedding, linens and antiques); Round Top’s Maison Miral; and Timber Rock, which first showed at The Compound’s winter art show. Returning as well will be veteran favorites Alisanne Wonderland (limestone flooring and French antiques), Eneby Home (mid-century modern), and Reworks Home (handcrafted furniture and lighting out of Austin).

Early Show begins with 15 vendors, including Alisanne Wonderland and Old World Antieks, with the full cadre of dealers opening Friday, September 22. Live music in the afternoons, starting this Saturday, September 22. Food and drink in The Grove by Simply D’Lish of Houston/Brenham, and Picnic on the Green Mobile Café of Houston. Armandos margaritas, sangria, fine wine, and beer daily, through September 30. Admission gratis.

After the conclusion of the fall show, Massey will add a 7,500-square-foot new barn and additional landscaping, as well as an outdoor stage for live music and bar. A Round Top Supper Club is in the works, too.

New at Henkel Square

Henkel Square, Massey’s first Round Top project created in collaboration with his family, continues to charm. Dapper Deer, owned by John Alexander and Eric Alexander, stocks gentleman’s provisions, such as clothing, knives, and accessories. Cynthia Sutton has opened two shops: Nutmeg’s Kids, offering cute children’s clothing, toys and baby gifts, and Silver Barn, carrying 21st-century home decor and gifts (i.e. great dinner party guest gifts). Meanwhile, ever-popular Two Sparrows Roasting Co., a first-class craft coffee roaster owned by Barbara and Jacob Lloyd, has expanded into a second building.

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