Hays City Store to reopen with new style

By Ashley Sava

The Hays City Store in Driftwood is preparing for a January grand reopening. Under new ownership, the store is currently undergoing renovations for its plan to operate as a restaurant and bar.

Owners Travis and Tamra Tindol said they will feature an entire menu focusing on seasonal vegetables and proteins as well as serving a wide variety of cocktails and beers.

 “Right now they’re gutting out the whole building and making it their own style,” Lindsay Chiero, Hays City Store spokesperson said. 

The Tindols are going for the Texas comfort food style. Their craft cocktails will be focused on ingredients. They will source local ingredients from local farms, breweries, wineries and distilleries. 

 “We’re trying to do local produce and proteins,” Travis said. “We’re born and bred proud Texans and we want to support GO TEXAN items and local farms.” 

Chiero said the Tindols are moving the new restaurant in a new direction.

“The restaurant before had a real fast food feel,” Chiero said. “Fried chicken and fries, lots of fried food was the focus before and we’re really looking to push the direction of restaurant in general. They’re going for [a]made from scratch feel.”

They also will have a small general store for people to pick up some household essentials. 

“When we moved to the area we moved to Sierra West and the store was still opened,” Tamra said. “We would go get breakfast tacos and burgers, but mostly used it if we needed something for the kitchen like eggs or milk. We were sad to see it go.” 

Those from surrounding communities haven’t forgotten about the convenience that the Hays City Store offered when it was opened.

“I could drive to work and get a quick snack as I was passing through andt I could pick up a loaf of bread on my way back,” Tim Graham, Dripping Springs resident said. “It was convenient.”

“It’s in a culinary wasteland right now, the closest restaurant is 20 miles away,” Chiero said. “It’s a great spot for people driving to and from work.“

The Tindols are no strangers to the culinary world. Travis is currently the general manager of the Flores Mexican restaurant in Dripping Springs and Tamra is the general manager of the Salty Sow in east Austin. Between serving and managing the couple has a combined 40 years of experience in the restaurant industry. 

“It’s been our goals to get out on our own to open a restaurant for some time,” Tamra said. “It became important to go back to a small town because that’s where we’re from.”

In order to give locals exactly what they want, the Tindols launched a survey on their Facebook page Oct. 11, asking nine questions, such as how often the family in question goes out to eat, what they want to see offered at the general store, what aspects are important when their family chooses a restaurant.

So far, more than 100 people responded and the survey is still open.

“People are looking for fresh food and a bar that has great cocktails, something a little different than what the area provides now,” Tamra said. “They’re looking for a friendly atmosphere and great food.”

Hays City Store will also offer an outdoor dining area and a beer garden. Washers and horseshoe pits will be available for outdoor recreational entertainment. The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Locals can expect rotating seasonal cocktails and a daily happy hour.

“We’re right in the center point of Hays County, but we have four unique communities,” Travis said. “None of the same looking at demographics and makeup of the four communities. We think we’ll fill a void. We want to make it a hangout and to utilize outdoor spaces.”

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