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What’s New Around Round Top — Gossip, Intrigue, a Liquor Store, Coffee, Music and Ellis Motel

The Land of Antiques is Growing With Some Charming New Additions

BY // 04.02.19

Editor’s note: Round Top is changing — and PaperCity’s Anne Lee Phillips has all the details on the new openings, music and Compound fun. The land of antiques is growing.

Pop-A-Top Bottle Shop Too Debuts

At long last, Round Top has a liquor store! Welcome, Pop-A-Top Bottle Shop Too.

Tiffany and Britt Reid and their two boys, Nate and Levi, lost their home in La Grange in Hurricane Harvey. Tiffany was contemplating what she could do to help solidify her family’s future when she saw that Pop-A-Top Bottle Shop in La Grange, which originally opened in the 1960s, was for sale.

They bought it and were in the midst of remodeling when Round Top developer Mark Massey walked in, saw their vision, and suggested an additional store location. Their Henkel Square space in Round Top proper opened in February and is a new breed of liquor store — antique display cases house bottles of booze and vino.

An old London phone booth displays gin and European liqueurs. Then there is the clubby scotch/whiskey/bourbon room — a cigar lounge with oversized leather chairs and fireplace and a humidor stocked with premium Cohiba and Montecristo cigars.

“Our goal is to be a one-stop shop offering beer, cocktail, and wine glasses (glass and plastic), wine openers, bottle openers, etc.,” Tiffany says. Custom orders are also available. Cheers!

Valentine's Day Gifts For Her

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Pop-A-Top Bottle Shop Too, 341 E. Mill Street, at Henkel Square.

Round Top Wine Shop

Cinda and Armando Palacios’ Round Top empire (Mandito’s, Bad Hombres, Lulu’s, Armando’s Round Top Houses) keeps expanding. In the space next to Lulu’s, they’ve opened Round Top Wine Shop.

“What I want to create here is something like a French wine shop, which are very small, have great wines, and you can buy bar accessories, too,” Armando says. “A charcuterie board, a fancy wine opener, vintage glassware.”

Round Top Wine Shop is the ideal spot for an aperitif before dinner next door at Lulu’s, or a digestif after. Or both.

“The interior is drop-dead gorgeous,” he says. “All cedar — the floors, walls, and ceiling. People want to go someplace small and intimate.”

Round Top Wine Shop, 206 Mill Street

More Coffee, Please

Two Sparrows Roasting Co. opened July 4, 2016, and quickly outgrew the original location. Owners Barbara and Jacob Loyd waited patiently for the perfect spot, and sure enough, they now have a second building: a historic 1840s log cabin in the heart of Henkel Square.

A beautiful custom cedar bar top by local maker Cooper Dalhart serves as a gathering place for coffee, with beer and wine coming soon to pair with small bites, cheese, and charcuterie.

Two Sparrows Roasting Co., 104 Schumann Lane at Henkel Square.

Ellis Motel

Whatever restaurateur Lee Ellis (formerly of State Fare Kitchen & Bar, Lee’s Fried Chicken and Donuts, Pi Pizza, Star Fish) is cooking up, we’re eating. He and wife Melissa have recently decamped to Round Top, and now he’s secured a spot in Henkel Square.

He plans to open Ellis Motel in a two-story historical property, dating to the 1800s, later this year. He describes it as equal parts “emporium, cocktails, hangout.”

Ellis Motel will be a bar, but all of the antique and vintage furniture inside is for sale, along with packaged gourmet food. For now, we’ll get our Ellis fix at his Bar in the Arbors.

Between Tents 1 and 2, he serves up mimosas and Bloody Marys in the morning, switching to Ranch Waters and margaritas in the evening.

Bar at The Arbors, 1503 Texas Highway 237, through April 6.

Ballad of the Bird Dog

Newlyweds Kathleen Matthews and Jared Anderson were honeymooning in Fredericksburg in December 2017, not long after the death of their beloved bird dog Skeet, when they decided to open a modern general store in a country town — Brenham, to be specific. Matthews is a pastry chef by trade, and Anderson has worked in oil and gas in Houston for 15 years.

“We wanted to create a space that covered all bases,” Matthews says.

Their vision for offering well-known, high-quality small batch products has been realized in Ballad of the Bird Dog in Brenham, named in honor of sweet Skeet, whose likeness stands proudly at point in the logo and on T-shirts.

The charming space has everything from hand-knotted rugs tested by the shop dogs, French Brittany spaniels Ruby and Rye, to classic Red Wing Heritage boots. Mescalito Coffee is housed within the shop, serving up world-class joe from Onyx Coffee Lab and Greenway Coffee, with treats from Houston’s Fluff Bake Bar.

Backroom at the Bird Dog shelters two barber chairs and a speakeasy. See a Bird Dog pop-up at Blue Hills, April 1, 10 am to 6 pm.

Ballad of the Bird Dog, 212 W. Alamo St, Brenham, and at Blue Hills at Round Top, April 1, 10 am to 6 pm, 1707 S State Highway 237, Carmine. 

Market Hill Music Makers

Market Hill, one of Round Top’s most popular newcomers, is introducing a music lineup for the spring shows. Fresh off a stop at SXSW, The Heart Collectors from Australia perform this Saturday and Sunday, March 30 and 31, 7 pm. Hometown favorite Black Cat Choir performs Monday and Tuesday, April 1 and 2 at 7 pm.

More music will be announced later. Market Hill also introduces six new vendors selling Americana, ancient antiques, jewelry, original art, and more. The full-service restaurant is open daily March 21 through April 7 for lunch and dinner, with at least one whole-hog roast this show.

Market Hill, 1542 Texas Highway 237, markethillroundtop.com

Coming Soon to the Compound

Mark Massey, owner of The Compound, has sold three lots within The Compound to dealers Lori Smithers, Pascal Bevillard, and Sergio Ribeiro. They plan to build barns for the Fall 2019 show.

Mark your calendars for the sure-to-be epic food and wine festival Massey is bringing to The Compound and throughout Round Top in April 2020.

Tacking Up in Round Top

South Texas Tack is coming to Round Top. Nancy and Steve Martin founded the equestrian and ranching-goods store in 2003 in Brenham. Come early fall, the Martins add an outpost in the charming building that formerly housed the funeral home in the heart of town.

South Texas Tack, 104 N. Washington St., southtexastack.com

Rebirth of Blue Hills

Brother-sister duo Corey Layne and Stephanie Layne Disney started the family business of their dreams with the recent purchase of Blue Hills, the much-loved Round Top antiques venue. Disney, who lives in Southern California with her two sons and filmmaker husband Andrew Disney, has always counted Blue Hills as a favorite Round Top antiquing spot.

“I’ve always loved the mix of antiques, art and home goods,” she says.

Layne works in commercial real estate in Houston, and their father, Paul Layne, is well-known in the commercial real estate world. The siblings are just two of six.

Disney says, “It’s always been our dad’s dream to see the family team up in a business venture. With half of our siblings in real estate and the other half in arts, the purchase of Blue Hills is truly a dream fulfilled.”

The Farm House at Blue Hills. On-site housing, the Farmhouse and the Bunkhouse, has been redesigned and can be rented through VRBO during the shows.
The Farm House at Blue Hills. On-site housing, the Farmhouse and the Bunkhouse, has been redesigned and can be rented through VRBO during the shows.

The Laynes have updated the Blue Hills brand with a fresh new look and are injecting some youthful fun into the venue. A pop-up shop planned for Monday, April 1, 10 am to 6 pm, will feature Miron Crosby, the Dallas-based bespoke boot company; Jennie Earle, who crafts handmade bandanas; The Ballad of the Bird Dog shop; handcrafted chairs from Chair Whimsy; and art from Kim Whiteside.

On-site housing, the Farmhouse and the Bunkhouse, has been redesigned and can be rented through VRBO during the shows.

Blue Hills, 1701 Texas Highway 237, Carmine, bluehillsatroundtop.com 

Copper Shade

Thirteen years ago, Debbie and Gerald Tobola opened Copper Shade Tree Gallery, the oldest art gallery in Round Top, and added Fine Home gallery to their stable nine years later. This year, they streamlined and consolidated the two galleries into one home in Henkel Square, Copper Shade Tree.

The gallery features the work of 80 artists, primarily with a Texas focus, with a third of the artists being national and/or international award winners. The new space will showcase quarterly art openings and includes a worktable for copper artist Gerald and others to create and demonstrate their work.

Copper Shade Tree, 102 Schumann Lane at Henkel Square, coppershadetree.com

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