L’esprit Français a la Round Top

Just in time for the Spring Antiques & Design Show, Round Top gets a new destination for antiques and garden design — and it’s fluent in French. The Compound’s newly branded The Compound Neighborhood (which features, to date, The White Barn) adds a venue when Jardin de France unveils. We caught up with co-owner Patrice Watine as workmen were putting the finishing flourishes on the first building of a planned portfolio of three on his two-acre property on Compound Lane. The handsome 5,000-square-foot aerie features antique carved Louis XVI-style pilasters framing barn doors offering expansive views of field and farmland. Watine, raised in a French village in the Picardy region near the Belgian border, and his Colombian-born wife/business partner, Gloria Watine, are readying the new space in time for its big reveal on opening day of The Compound, Saturday, March 18 (through Saturday, April 1). The Watines and Jardin de France now boast three footprints (besides this new property, The White Barn at The Compound and Bader Ranch) as well as the Watines’ original charming Jardin de France in Houston’s West End at 4819 Blossom, which opened in 2015.

Patrice says of the new space, “A third of it will be set up as a beautifully curated store with A/C, and the rest will be more market style, where great deals will be found. The master plan includes another two buildings for a total of 20,000 square feet.” Houston designer Aaron Rambo guided interiors and provided inspiration. Phase 2, Watine says, calls for an identical building, the pair united by “majestic central gates, and a basin with a calm water feature, to create the ambiance of a grand estate nestled in France’s countryside.” The couple, who got their start in the plant-care biz in Houston, continue their commitment to green, envisioning an allée of large trees and clipped boxwoods punctuated by a signature structure, a French chateau, in Round Top.

Jardin de France at Compound Lane, 108 Compound Lane, Round Top, jardindefrancetx.com, @jardindefrancetx.

467 Lollitop Sweetshop’s Brooke and Paul Michie with Cookie 1-IMG_3311
Lollitop Sweetshop’s Brooke & Paul Michie with Cookie

Henkel Square Gets Sweeter: Lollitop Relocates

One of Round Top’s fave retailers gets a new home this month. Brooke and Paul Michie, the community-minded couple who preside over Round Top Brewing and Lollitop Sweetshop, are moving Lollitop from Minden Square to a sweet little log cabin on Henkel Square that increases the footprint of their kingdom-of-candy and baked-goods empire. (Their booming brewery biz will take over the previous Minden candy space; exciting news to report soon.) Find Lollitop now in a 400-square-foot historic cabin sited on a lovely lawn between Little Cheese Shop and Mallory et Cie and across from the bocce court, allowing for outdoor activities including kiddy toys and games and ample seating. Brooke says, “We will be selling our scratch-baked cookies and treats (popular muffins may make a reappearance soon, including #Blueberry Fields Forever), and everything sweet: weekly desserts, seasonal house-made offerings, all the retro nostalgic candy, international candy, gourmet bean-to-bar chocolates, Tik-Tok faves, toffees, and snacks.” Pick up Lollitop’s signature-blend coffee custom-roasted by Neon Moon and, come summer, watch for old-timey ice-cream-truck-style frozen treats. This new Lollitop even has a mascot: a little rescue pooch appropriately named Cookie.

Henkel Square, Building 106, lollitopsweetshop.com, @lollitopsweetshop.

Stone Cellar Shakes Up the Vibe

The Stone Cellar is Round Top’s own iconic watering hole/honky tonk/restaurant that continues its transformation while remaining true to its downhome roots. Kudos to owners Landmark Hospitality Group’s Cathy and Steven Frietsch (she, also proprietress of Rockabilly Baroness located in 550 Market). Adding polish, a cocktail program, and an inspired menu by chef Daryl Schultz is the recently unveiled Jon Perez Lounge, named for The Stone Cellar and Round Top Dance Hall’s former long-time proprietor. The contemporary design -— layout by Issac Preminger Architecture & Design, interiors by Cathy Frietsch and sister-in-law Kathy Frietsch — creates a serene, swank spot tucked into a new wing of The Stone Cellar; sip a Ranch Water at its handsome green-marble and black-tiled bar. Light-filled windows look out upon a grove of trees, which is one of the reasons the Frietsches were taken by the property. On the walls hang Steve Wrubel’s classic cowboy photographic images, sourced from Christopher Martin Gallery. As such, the Jon Perez offers a welcome entrée to Round Top showtime dining and cocktail destinations, as well as year-round options. Coming soon is a neighboring speakeasy called The Mark which the Frietsches plan to open this month by the spring show. Preminger designs the layout; Cathy and Steven craft the interiors, with general contractor David Stone (Texas Fine Homes). Stay tuned.

550 N. Washington St. (Texas 237), stonecellarwines.com, @thestonecellar.