Lost Friend Brewing eyes opening, and Slow Downz Texas Creole debuts chuck wagon

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COURTESY RYAN HANNIGAN
  • Courtesy Ryan Hannigan
Lost Friend Brewing Company plans to finally open its doors on Saturday, April 6, at 2458 Montebello Square Drive, following almost an entire year of unforeseen delays.

“We’re taking a lot of time to really make sure the beer is right,” says co-owner and brewer Andy France. “The quality wasn’t there just yet and now we’re really in the groove.”

Expect a “good mix” of beers that consists of eight flagships and experimental offerings with a strong focus on lagers and IPAs. France hopes his guests embrace their “coffee shop-esque” vibe. He says they’re “trying to go for a really homey feel where you want to stay, work, read a book or play a board game.”

An entire wall features built-in shelves that “will be jam- packed with books,” next to oversized couches, large tables ideal for big groups to gather around and a 20-foot horseshoe- shaped bar.



“We put a lot of work into the aesthetic things, but focusing on high quality beers, that’ll really be what makes us stand out,” says France.
COURTESY LAUREN REECE, AXE & THE OAK DISTILLERY
  • Courtesy Lauren Reece, Axe & the Oak Distillery
Meanwhile, Mark Soto, owner of Slow Downz Texas Creole, is stepping out at local food truck rallies to debut his “new age chuck wagon” complete with a Southern-sized smoker and a fusion menu that captures the flavors of southeast Texas. Barbecue, Cajun and Tex-Mex food options include a Yee-Haw Po-Boy, NOLA Loaded Potato, Bayou City Frito Pie and Cajun Elotes.

Soto, who was born in Austin, and grew up in Houston, Texas, says he plans to grow his food truck into a “French meets Frontier” cast-iron concept that’s inspired by his culinary education and cooking in kitchens in Cape Cod, the Caribbean and Montana.

“I wanted to open Slow Downz to give back to the community [culturally] and get food here that I grew up with,” says Soto. “My idea is about sharing that culture with everybody.”

The synergistic setup can be found on Wednesday’s at Brayla’s Wedding & Events (2165 Academy Place), Saturdays at the Square (in the Widefield Square Shopping Center) and, soon, on Thursdays at FH Beerworks downtown (521 S. Tejon St.).

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