Austin Way

At the renovated and reopened Green Pastures, new restaurant Mattie’s honors the past in fresh, surprising and delicious ways.

MattieCs at AustinCs historic Green Pastures pays homage to its heritage with fresh and diverse takes on the classics.

- By Valerie Jarvie // Photograph­y by Nick Simonite

If you are one of the thousands who have celebrated birthdays, anniversar­ies, graduation­s and weddings at Green Pastures over the years, listen up: It’s time to return. If you have never experience­d a meal at the Austin mainstay, you’re in for a treat. The historic property and one of the grande dames of Austin hospitalit­y has undergone a splendid makeover. After closing for renovation­s, the restaurant has reopened under a new name, Mattie’s, in honor of the legendary hostess who first made the 19th century house a place of warm welcome, and features a stellar new chef and menu. In 2015, Austin real estate developer Greg Porter partnered with Jeff Trigger, president of La Corsha Hospitalit­y Group, to buy the property, a circa 1895 Victorian house set on 6 acres in the Bouldin Creek neighborho­od of South Austin. Trigger was the general manager of Rosewood Mansion and The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas for many years before relocating to Austin to start La Corsha, a luxury hotel and restaurant management firm whose local restaurant­s include both locations of chef David Bull’s Second Bar + Kitchen (and its upcoming site at Austin-Bergstrom Internatio­nal Airport) and Boiler Nine Bar + Grill. La Corsha also oversaw the restoratio­n of historic locations such as Austin’s The Driskill hotel, the St. Anthony Hotel San Antonio and, most recently, the landmark Stagecoach Inn restaurant in Salado. The more the partners researched the history of Green Pastures, the more enamored they became with its storied past. The home was purchased in 1916 by Henry Faulk, the son of a poor Alabama sharecropp­er. Henry Faulk had moved to Austin, worked his way through The University of Texas law school and become an acclaimed judge. He and his wife, Martha “Mattie” Miner Faulk, were generous folk who opened their big house to countless family and friends, putting up travelers, college students, and women and children who moved in while husbands fought in WWII. Mattie, in particular, was known for her good works and open-mindedness. The home was passed to a daughter, Mary Faulk Koock, who opened a formal restaurant on the ground floor in 1946. Mary carried on her parents’ tradition of hospitalit­y, welcoming people of any creed or color to the restaurant—18 years before desegregat­ion, a time when this wasn’t the norm by a long stretch. Green Pastures became a dining institutio­n, hosting dinner, brunch and events for more than a half-century. Fast-forward to today. Porter and Trigger have completely renovated the 12,000-square-foot house and additional event space with the help of a design dream team: Emily Little of Clayton + Little Architects and interior designer Joel Mozersky. Stylish, midcentury-inspired furniture is accented with Faulk family portraits and artifacts, set in a background of soothing grays and blues. Patio space has been added under

 ??  ?? From left: The lobby at Green Pastures is a warm welcome; a Southern classic, the bone-in pork chop served with squash and grilled okra.
From left: The lobby at Green Pastures is a warm welcome; a Southern classic, the bone-in pork chop served with squash and grilled okra.
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