Historic Austin building given new life as Stonehouse Coffee & Bar

Rendering by the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture. Stonehouse Coffee & Bar is being built out of an old, historically designated building on South Lamar.

Rendering by the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture. Stonehouse Coffee & Bar is being built out of an old, historically designated building on South Lamar.

A small stone house that was designated as a city and state landmark is becoming a coffee bar on South Lamar Boulevard.

When Stonehouse Coffee & Bar opens in wintertime this year, it will have a new interior inspired by turn-of-the-century Austin — thanks to design changes that the lauded Michael Hsu Office of Architecture has in the works to update the building while staying true to its 1900 roots.

The building, known as the Dawson Stone House, was erected in 1900 as the middle-class home of two sisters, Mary and Nannie Dawson, who were teachers as well as real estate developers, according to the historical marker next to the front door of the building. Most recently, a title loan office occupied the Dawson Stone House, but a prolific group of bar owners has decided to transform it into a coffee bar that will be opened from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily once it’s ready for business later this year.

Stonehouse Coffee & Bar, at 1105 S. Lamar Blvd., will have coffee from Cuvee, as well as draft beer, wine, pastries and gelato, according to a press release. Plus, a food truck will serve up breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The group responsible for updating Stonehouse is FBR Management, which also owns the neighboring Gibson Street Bar as well as Mean Eyed Cat, Star Bar, the Wheel, both Lavaca Street Bar locations, and other local hotspots.

“In a time when so much of Austin is being re-envisioned, Stonehouse Coffee + Bar seeks to honor the early history of the city,” FBR partner Matt Luckie said in the press release. “Stonehouse is a fresh and modern concept that fits nicely within the walls of this unique, historical building.”

The Michael Hsu Office of Architecture has designed other notable local places like the Uchi and Uchiko restaurants and the South Congress Hotel.

To carry out the design updates to the Dawson Stone House, FBR Management had to seek approval from both the city’s Historic Landmark Commission and the state’s Texas Historical Commission. Sometimes, there’s a battle between the city and developers about changes to buildings with historical designations, but Austin’s landmark commission approved the Stonehouse project in the spring.

Rendering by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture. The Stonehouse Coffee & Bar will have design elements that nod to turn-of-the-century Austin, when the original building was erected.

Rendering by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture. The Stonehouse Coffee & Bar will have design elements that nod to turn-of-the-century Austin, when the original building was erected.


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