Draped in vines and soaked in sunlight sits the oldest walls in San Marcos.
Blue Dahlia Bistro, located on The Square, features a back garden dining area, completely encompassed by white brick walls. The walls of this small bistro, rustic and covered in chipping paint, are considered the oldest walls in town.
Jessi Devine, Blue Dahlia general manager, said the walls are a free-standing structure. She said the building was constructed in the mid 1800s, so the garden walls were possibly built before that. It is believed the walls originally housed a blacksmith’s shop.
“The back garden (resembles) the environment of the Blue Dahlia; it’s kind of rustic,” Devine said. “It’s very cute. It’s comfortable. You want to just sit and enjoy yourself. I’ve had customers say they feel like they are in Europe when they’re sitting back here.”
Gary Fields, philosophy lecturer, has visited Blue Dahlia before and prefers sitting in the back garden.
“It kind of reminds me of the Epicurean concept of the garden,” Fields said.
The restaurant is a European style bistro that serves a variety of people.
“In one night, we will have college kids, high school kids on dates, there will be older folks getting together with their friends,” Devine said. “During brunch, there’s always tons of large families. It’s a broad spectrum.”
Jose Congo, Blue Dahlia cook, said the establishment offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
“I feel like it’s a French-oriented cuisine,” Congo said. “However, we do implement a lot of American classics, like meatloaf. We put our own spin on things as well. It’s simple food for great people.”
Fields said he comes to Blue Dahlia to sit, drink wine and read in between obligations. The restaurant is a place people can sit down and enjoy their experience while being served.
“I think it’s a very unique experience for San Marcos,” Devine said. “San Marcos (restaurants) lean towards faster, easier food like burgers, pizza and that sort of thing. We try to cultivate more of an experience where you kind of sit down and relax and eat a little more slowly.”
Blue Dahlia has two other locations in Austin. The San Marcos location opened July 2017. During the year they have been open, the eatery has had an impact on the community.
“Over the summer (Blue Dahlia) hosted a fundraiser for the Iconic (Village Apartments) fire, and that is when I realized we really do play a role in the community,” Congo said. “What we do here affects San Marcos as a whole.”
Congo said an upwards of $10,000 was raised from the fundraiser.
“The people (of San Marcos) should know Blue Dahlia is not one of those Austin chains that came to town to make money,” Congo said. “We came here to make an impact in the community and I think we’ve shown it.”
Blue Dahlia houses history, community and experience inside its ancient walls. It will continue to strive toward its mission of creating an impact on San Marcos for years to come.