Round Top’s Southern Beasts has herded its collection of beloved textile taxidermy over to the space formerly occupied by Teague’s Tavern in Henkel Square. Mary Lou Marks has been slowly gaining notoriety since 2011, when she began creating a menagerie out of fine antique fabrics and trimmings. From longhorns and horses to rabbits, pigs, dogs and more, Marks gets her inspiration directly from her textile collection, which is sourced by pickers from all over the country.

Now, she’s opening a new showcase gallery in Round Top. Mary Lou Marks and the rest of the Southern Beasts team will hold an opening event for the public at the new Henkel Square digs this Friday, August 5 at 11 am with light bites and cocktails.

After getting started as a vendor at the ExCess field during the Round Top Antiques Shows, Marks quickly transitioned to shop owner, claiming a permanent space in Rolland Square for several years. Rapid growth in demand has necessitated this expansion into a larger Henkel Square space. Marks’ daughter — local musician Kellye Kephart — has signed on to help craft the one-of-a-kind pieces to keep up with demand.

Marks was recently featured in Architectural Digest for her work on the Top Gun House, an 1887 cottage that featured in the original Top Gun movie starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. The house has been moved onto the property of the Mission Pacific Hotel in San Diego and is now home to the nostalgic (and just recently opened) HIGH-Pie Bakery, where owner Tara Lazar serves up fried pies, freshly churned ice creams and fizzy cherry pop to hotel guests and pie devotees.

Marks was chosen for the project after catching the eye of a few notable international designers during the 2021 Round Top Spring Antiques Show. Nicolò Bini, a well-known architect with LINE Architecture, along with the designers from Value Retail Group ― part of S.D Malkin Properties — were so struck by what they saw at Marks’ Round Top gallery that they hired her on the spot to be part of the unique Top Gun project.

The new Southern Beasts gallery at 105 N. Live Oak Street in Round Top will be open year-round on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm.