Five-times James Beard award finalist Bryce Gilmore wanted to find a way to deliver his brand of thoughtful, quality food to a wider audience and at lower price points. So, the Odd Duck and Barley Swine chef-owner and his partners came up with the idea for Sour Duck Market.
The all-day, fast-casual cafe and bar located at 1814 East Martin Luther King Blvd. at Chicon Street will follow the same guiding ethos as Gilmore’s other two restaurants, serving food inspired by Texas, using Central Texas ingredients. Sour Duck will continue the sourcing methods of its sibling restaurants, working with Central Texas purveyors to purchase produce and an assortment of animal proteins such as goat, quail, pork, beef, lamb and more.
“We’ll stay true to what you see here,” Gilmore said recently from Odd Duck on South Lamar Boulevard. “We want people to have the ability to eat better.”
Sour Duck Market, which will be 1.5x the size of Odd Duck, will offer about 20 counter seats, another 30 at its separate bar and ample seating in the beer and cocktail garden, utilizing a mix of counter service inside and table service outside that allows people to come and go quickly or linger over food and drinks. Gilmore says customers should think of the dishes — which will include items like sandwiches, kolaches, soft-serve ice cream, sausages, assorted baked goods and more — as more akin to trailer food than composed restaurant entrees, and Odd Duck’s namesake food trailer is being converted into a smoker to cook many of the proteins. Gilmore and partners Mark Buley, Dylan Gilmore and Jason James haven’t even decided if they’re going to use traditional dishware at the restaurants that will also serve grab-and-go options and offer takeout.
“What excites us is the challenge of how we’re going to run this thing,” Gilmore said of the restaurant that has plans for mobile ordering. “Without sacrificing quality, how do we provide the fastest service possible?”
The high-volume Sour Duck Market will be a mini-compound of sorts, with a hot kitchen, a bakery serving Sour Duck Market retail customers and Gilmore’s various restaurants, a bar and a beer and cocktail garden. The bar program will serve four cocktails on draft (likely whiskey, vodka, tequila and gin options) and eight draft beers, and feature a frozen drink machine.
“We want to do the restaurant we wish existed in the world,” Buley said.
Gilmore and company expect to open Sour Duck Market in the winter, and given the restaurant operators’ history, a December or January opening seems almost inevitable.
Update: This story has been updated to include seating at the bar and amend the number of seats in the garden.