Guide

First Look: Halcyon and Stella Public House

By Darlene Horn  |  December 11, 2014
Credit: Darlene Horn

Recently opened Halcyon and Stella Public House may confuse some people on first passing. Imported from Texas, they’re two different dining destinations with separate identities sharing a 3,000-sq.-ft. building and kitchen in East Village. But that’s not all they share. There’s also a connected patio with views of Coronado Bridge, the bay and a still-under-construction unnamed park to open early next year. Also, both establishments are co-owned by the same people. Confused yet? Here’s a breakdown of each place plus must-order eats.

Halcyon Coffee + Bar + Lounge

Hours of Operation: Every day 6 AM-2 PM

The Gist: Serving a mix of hot coffee drinks, teas, shakes, smoothies, artisanal sodas and cocktails, this bright and sunny space opens early and closes late. Keeping in line with the original Austin location, the decor by partner Kris Hardy features a wood wraparound bar and retro furniture keeping in tone with Southern California’s sunny skies. Bring your dog, laptop or just stop by and enjoy the view with a cup o' joe.

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Eat This: With extensive operating hours, your eating preference will likely depend on the time of day. If you're in early, grab a cup of coffee and fritatta ($8). During midday hours, sandwiches and salads are surefire bets. But if you’re only looking to hang out, order up a light snack like their fried mozzarella bites ($9) or s’mores ($6-$9; pictured above) complete with a mini-campfire.

Drink This: Order a cup of house-blend coffee from their Texas roaster or upgrade to a pour-over by a featured boutique coffee roaster like Michigan’s Madcap. In the evening, switch over to one of their espresso cocktails like the Cosmonaut ($10) — their take on a white Russian.

Know This: With construction all around, noise can be distracting, so bring headphones or come in later in the day.

 

Stella Public House

Hours of Operation: Every day 5 PM-midnight

The Gist: The full-service-restaurant portion of the space with roots in San Antonio is only serving dinner for now. It also serves as a taproom with 20 beers in stock, including cocktails. With space for more than 100 diners, stop by and grab a table or have a seat by the bar.

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Eat This: Local ingredients top each Neapolitan-style pizza with crust made from 100-year-old yeast from Naples, Italy. Choose from 10 pizzas including the burrata and pomodorini ($16; pictured above) with housemade mozzarella (made fresh daily in-house), a white pizza topped with prosciutto and arugula ($16) or another topped with lamb meatballs and caramelized onions ($16). Menu holdovers from the original Texas location include lamb meatballs ($10) served with spicy tomato sauce and a wild mushroom mac 'n' cheese ($10) — two great options in the small-plates side. Find your favorite dessert among choices like chocolate salami, tiramisu, panna cotta and budino ($9 each) by executive chef Giovanni Novella.

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Drink This: Choose from any one of the craft beers on tap, but general manager Jon Wantz insists you give one of their beer cocktails, or “craftails,” a try. A mix of Belching Beaver PB Stout, Stoli Raz and coffee make up the hearty Breakfast beer ($11) while nonbeer-drinkers will get onboard with the lighter Orange Shandy ($11) with freshly squeezed orange juice, Hanson’s Organic Mandarin Vodka and wheat beer (both pictured above).

Know This: Happy hour is 3-7 PM every day and includes $5 featured beers, house wines, well cocktails and $2 off all small plates.

1429 Island Ave.; 619-234-0808