The FELIZ Pre-party

FELIZ week officially kicked off on Wednesday with the welcoming party at Loot Vintage headquarters.

Thanks to everyone who made it out! There were great drinks, a crudité and antipasto spread, and some wonderful conversations amidst some of the most beautiful lounges we could ask for.
Didn’t make it? The lounges, drinks, and conversations are all part of FELIZ this Sunday at the Palm Door on Sabine from 11-6, this time with 27+ vendors, espresso, aura paintings, tarot readings, and stick and poke tattoos!


Thanks to our sponsors!

Bar menu designed by Better Half Bar with spirits from Espolón and Big Bend Brewing Company.
Event space and styling from Loot Vintage
All photography by Alison Marlborough

Sponsor Spotlight : Better Half Coffee and Cocktails

Better Half - AKA FELIZ offices


Much of FELIZ has been planned from a booth at Better Half and at this season’s sale- you can enjoy cocktails designed by these brilliant folks. They are coming back to the sale as a sponsor, graciously bringing the Better Half experience to the Palm Door for FELIZ. What’s the Better Half experience? Super friendly people making super tasty beverages that combine flavors you’ve never considered but make so much sense when they hit your lips. We’ll share a cocktail recipe in the future, but something you just can’t nail at home is their food. An A+ time to experience it is during their happy hour bc ….

All kinds- Beef, Chicken, and Veggie

All kinds- Beef, Chicken, and Veggie

Their burgers are $5.

And their burgers are some of the best in the city. The beef comes from 44 Farms in Cameron, TX, the chicken patty is ground in house, and they have a veggie patty, too. All $5 during HH.

…and that’s not all

Canned beers are $3.

Better Half stocks some of the best and weirdest beers in the city and almost all local. I don’t know what the Terpene Dream from Hops and Grain is but at $3 I’ll take it and probably love it.

So the HH schedule:
Every day (a rare weekend happy hour!) 3–6pm
And drink specials 9pm–close.
*Closed Mondays

Better Half is great for eating-meetings as you can get just about anything. From coffee to n/a drinks, to the best cocktails and food that addresses all diets. Maybe share the burger and their generous seasonal salad? Nice people and well-appointed digs. We’re very into it and excited to welcome them back to the sale!

All this for $17.

All this for $17.

Eat where the Toyotas eat.

Eat where the Toyotas eat.

Sponsor Spotlight: Better Half Cocktails and Coffee Pt 2 Ft Chioco Design

We're back with the second half of our exploration into the design of Better Half, the modern diner that was missing in your life. Chioco Design is responsible for the distinctive architecture of the space and likely- so much more. We're chatting with them about problem solving constraints and working as a creative team.

Was the design of BH referencing any other favorite spaces or was it all about 406 Walsh?

The project is really a reflection of the sensibilities those involved in the design process. What you might not know is that this is just the first part of the entire project which will culminate in us renovating the Quonset hut next door into a brewery with an exterior court yard that connects them. There will be more significant design moves that were decided in the early masterplanning phase of the project. For instance, we really wanted these spaces (Better Half and Hold Out Brewery) to speak to each other. Their proximity to each other gave us this opportunity by designing glass facades that face each other and offer the maximum amount of transparency. So, yes the project is very site specific to 406 Walsh.


How do you work out the flow of the space? Is it highly planned or organic?

The spaces are highly planned as the programmatic requirements were so complicated as most restaurants are. This project has many parts, a kitchen, bar, cafe, coffee shop, restrooms, patio and making sure we met all these requirements with an efficient layout was paramount.

What spurred the idea for the DQ service window?

The service window has to do with the owners wish to serve the patio without customers having to reenter the main space.  We always imagined that the patio would be a highly populated space especially with Austin’s love of outdoor spaces.


Better Half has a massive live oak on the property, can you tell us about how you worked with it?

The live oak is beautiful and flawed at the same time.  Our goal was to protect it to ensure it’s continued growth by removing some of the impervious cover in it’s proximity.  By removing much of the existing asphalt we are giving it a better chance to flourish. 

Can you speak for a moment about working as a team on a creative project? How do your individual strengths play out?

In this case everybody seemed to be on the same page aesthetically so that’s always beneficial to its success.  The owners were great with their input on all things but especially how the space needed to function, flow, and operate.  There was a true collaboration on many of the interior finishes and details.  What we loved about this project was getting to work out ideas with both Lilianne and the owners. 
In this particular situation we designed the building and worked with the client on an effective an efficient floor plan as well as all the big design moves like the bar and wood furr-down, steel windows and window wall that faces the giant oak. Someone that deserves credit is Mikel Bennett from my office.  She was instrumental not only in design but in the execution with her efforts and communication with the General Contractor.  By the way, Havens Construction did a great job as well.

"One design element that really ties everything together is the graphic design and branding imagery by Lauren Dickens.  I can’t say enough about her talent and ideas."

Do you have a tip for other creative teams?

A tip is to be open to ideas and to understand everyone’s talents and capabilities.  Once you know that then you can navigate the complexities that are inevitable.

Favorite food on the menu?

They have an incredible burger and the pastrami is off the charts!

Photograph c/o  Alison Narro

Photograph c/o Alison Narro


See more work from Chioco Design here, and check out the space in person at Better Half on May 2nd when they host the FELIZ pre-party meet and greet drinks from Espolon. See you there!

FELIZ Spring 2018 is May 6th 11-6pm, swing by the Palm Door on Sabine to see some of our favorite designers, sip on a drink and have a relaxing Sunday. 


Sponsor Spotlight: Better Half Cocktails and Coffee design pt 1 ft Lilianne Steckel

Lilianne Steckel designs some of our favorite spaces in Austin. Her recent collaboration with Better Half (hosting the FELIZ pre-party) may be our favorite yet, and we know there's more coming from this powerhouse. LIlianne is responsible for the interior design of the space, and next we'll be talking with Jamie Chioco who masterminded the space from the architectural side.


When you think of the space, what is the first detail that comes to mind?

When I started working with the guys they wanted a space inspired by West Texas. The journey out there, the space it occupies in your heart. Running into friends, good music, good hangs. I loved using that as our inspiration because I love to travel and going out there is a special experience for me as well.

What were some must-incorporate details? I am such a fan of the coat hooks at each booth.

Aw, Thank you! We wanted to mix the feeling of a classic diner you visited often with a refined space that allowed for craft food and cocktails to feel natural. The coat hooks and booths were a must as a nod to the diner feel. Also the long window with rounded cap felt very throwback to us and was a nice moment we all agreed was important. The whole group was huge on special moments in the restroom, so we got to have a lot of fun in there! A record player and record display area were another must so they could have the flexibility to stretch the personality of the vibe depending on the night and the feels.


Can you shout out some of your vendors? I know there are some beautiful, locally made pieces throughout the space.

Of course! Boomtown Design did the custom white oak paneling on the walls and ceiling. As well as the pecan dimensional bar front that plays off of the amazing dimensional tile on the front of the order and coffee counter, which is by Mutina and sold by Stone Source. Fox Fine Furniture did the booths and coat hooks you love! Mother of God (A FELIZ vendor!) hand made the ceramic pendant light shades that hang over the booths. Will Bryant painted up our funky bathroom murals. Adam Young made the wood vessels hanging on the wall and framed our West Texas print near the womens restroom. And of course Lauren Dickens did our branding and graphics which were had painted by Joe Swec around the building.

See what inspires  Lilianne on Pinterest

See what inspires Lilianne on Pinterest

Is there a book or resource you reference for design inspiration or for running your small business?

Interior Design Magazine and Italian Elle Decor magazine are must reads and I also love cruising european design blogs because I think the design overseas is so inspiring!

Where is your next vacation?

I am heading to NYC for ICFF in May with a fellow designer to enjoy Design Week. Super excited to see some new products and inspirations.

Favorite drink on the menu?

I love their wine list, but my cocktail of choice is Yes Ma’am for sure. I’m a whiskey girl.


Stay tuned, we'll be discussing some of the site-specific details of the space next with the architects, Chioco Design.

Have you heard? Better Half is hosting FELIZ for the pre-party meet and greet. Wednesday May 2nd from 7-10 with drinks from Espolon. See you there!