Burnet Road easily becomes as congested as North Lamar Boulevard during rush hour, but away from the main drag and tucked back into the Rosedale neighborhood sit a few gems that embody Burnet Road’s character of the past 50 years.
On the corner of 45th Street and Burnet is Stinson’s Bistro. Owned and operated by John and Sheridan Thompson, the two transformed an old gas station into a simple concept: tacos, coffee, cocktails and craft beer. For the past five years, Stinson’s has brought the Rosedale community a place to sit back and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Allen Blair, the co-manager at Stinson’s, has been a part of the team for the past four years and said while Stinson’s does what most Austin coffee shops do, they try to do it with their own flair. They have their own taco food truck parked in front of the cafe and a weekly podcast called “Breakfast at Stinson’s.”
“It is great being located in Rosedale because (Stinson’s is) very neighborhood-orientated,” Blair said. “We do have a lot of regulars that live in the area and they come and pick up a coffee every morning, and they bring their kids in after school every afternoon.”
Blair said Stinson’s has become integrated into locals’ daily routines, reassuring their purpose as a business.
Around the corner from Stinson’s, in an English style cottage, the Draught House Pub and Brewery, which has brought stouts and IPAs to Rosedale for nearly 50 years. Built by the original owners Wayne and Gay Overton, the Draught House has over 70 beers on tap and a line that often flows into the parking lot.
Michael Heimer, a bartender at the Draught House, first started working at the pub in the ‘90s before taking a 10-year hiatus. Heimer returned to the Draught House six years ago and said Burnet radiates a culture of regularity.
“(The Draught House) is a hidden gem because a lot of people don’t know we are back here even though we have been here for almost 50 years,” Heimer said. “People who work over here for 20 plus years come in here and don’t realize we are a bar until they come inside.”
Much like Stinson’s, the Draught House is an establishment that is heavily supported by the community. Heimer pointed out one individual in particular, Benan Cakmak, who has been going to the Draught House nearly every day for 40 years.
“It all started with a bicycle ride,” Cakmak said. “I would ride over from my house down the road and I’m going ‘hey’ to the owner and his wife would serve us hamburgers and bbq. On Saturdays, he would sell us steaks and then the kitchen would close, because he would go to the UT game.”
Cakmak moved to Austin in 1973 and said Burnet Road was hardly anything back then. Among the rapid development and corporate overtake, Cakmak said the Draught House has not changed at all.
“This is a place to enjoy the energy of the neighborhood,” Cakmak said. “All of the places back here really embody the character of this neighborhood. And when you go inside, they are full of good, loyal people that make great company.”