When you’re in the Texas Corners Brewing Co., you’re in Texas Corners.
Obvious, we know. But the restaurant feels like the community it’s in — much more so than if one were in just another franchise establishment.
“It’s got the character and the culture of the area,” proprietor Andrew Shultz says.
“We’re a small business, we’re family owned-and-operated,” he says. “I met my wife here. We both work here every day — this is our living. We live in the community, we give back to the community, we employ people here from the community.”
TCB is a product of its community, and also serves products from the community.
Their menu is farm-to-table. “We know all the farmers in the area, they grow different types of livestock that we could feature on the menu. We try to do as much local produce, local meats as we can. Everything that’s within reason.”
So, can he tell me where the pig in the pulled pork came from? “Sometimes,” he says.
For some items, they need to go outside the area to meet customer demand. For example, wings. “We go through 120 pounds of chicken wings a week,” Shultz says. If they were to buy all local chickens, a lot of the parts that aren’t wings would go to waste.
But the pulled pork? Those pigs were raised by neighbors. “We’ve gotten pork butts from Bailey’s Meats, which is literally just a mile down the road.”
Customers might know who grew what ended up on their plate. And if customers and staff tend to greet each other like neighbors, it’s because they are.
Shultz aimed for an atmosphere between noisy bar and fine dining. “In the restaurant world, they call it ‘casual upscale.'”
In other words, “If your kid’s teacher comes in, you can say hi from across the room and not feel like you’re breaking any protocol,” he says. “But it’s also not like a loud, noisy bar. We don’t have TVs, we don’t have sports, we want to facilitate conversation and meaningful interaction.”
In early 2020, we entered a time when meaningful interaction wasn’t possible. When COVID struck, Texas Corners Brewing Co. did what it could to survive. Having loyal customers helped.
“During the pandemic I think people have really taken note of who’s local, where their money’s going,” he says.
TCB put their energy into takeout, and made use of their outdoor patio space. Curbside service in particular saved their business, Shultz says. “We’ve kept on a lot of staff. I’ve probably had at least a dozen of our staff work for most of the pandemic with us. They’ve never left, so they believed in us.”
“So many people have come up to say, ‘We’re so thankful you’re still here.'”