Just one year ago, an ordinary convenience store sat on East 11th Street, run-down, with only a limited selection of items for locals to pick through on their way home from work. That’s all changed now. Having undergone a serious makeover, the Quickie Pickie has been given new life and is reinventing the typical corner store in earnest. With the help of a talented team, owner Zahir Prasla is turning this spot into an East Austin staple.
There are of course similarities to other convenience stores – an assortment of snacks and beer in the fridges. However, the Quickie Pickie has taken their amenities to a new level that seems to be appropriately slowing down the experience. With 27 taps (24 beers, 2 Kombuchas and a rosé), there is little reason to simply run in and out. Also, with the help of Chef Martine Pelegrin – formerly of Chez Nous and Whip In, they have added an outstanding menu with Mediterranean-American influences.
Soon the coffee program will have an extensive menu and serve Counter Culture beans. They are even implementing the Japanese pour-over method for brewing cold coffee. And for those looking to pick up a bottle of wine, perhaps one of their more than 300 options in the shop will suffice.
“Our goal is to create a non-pretentious environment that is not intimidating. Wine, coffee and beer are some of the greatest things to enjoy in life,” says General Manager Emily Lowe. “These things are meant to create a good time. Creating an environment that encourages people to explore these things is what we are after.”
And part of creating that environment involved the renovation of the store’s design by the team at Shift Build, the updated branding by Ryan Rhodes of LAND, and the interesting collages by Michalovic Wood Art.
The grocery will be an ongoing experiment while the team learns what folks in the neighborhood want and need. After all, camaraderie with customers is an important part of the Quickie Pickie experience.
So, don’t let the name fool you. You’ll probably want to stay for a while at the Quickie Pickie.