Main Street Social to feature variety of dining options
By Rachel Madison
Liberty Hill residents James and Tambra Prince have been working on building a food hall in Liberty Hill for years—and finally, that dream is about to be under construction.
“We’ve been talking about this for five years and working on it for three years,” Tambra Prince said. “Five years ago, James asked me, ‘What do we not have in Liberty Hill?’ I rattled off pizza, ice cream, healthy foods. He said, ‘okay, let’s do it,’ and that’s how the food hall concept came up.”
The food hall, which will be named Main Street Social, will essentially bring food trucks indoors by getting multiple vendors under the same umbrella, James Prince said.
“We’ll provide kitchen space for five vendors, which have all been pre-committed,” he said. “Our flagship is Moonie’s Burger House, which is a really well-established local chain. We will also have a deli that will be called Mainstay Deli, a pizza place, a fish-and-chips style stall and a sit-down restaurant.”
The restaurant will have room to seat about 70 and will also include a small event center that will provide a location for everything from wedding rehearsal dinners to corporate retreats.
“The restaurant will have a farm-to-table concept, and we want to be very much in tune to the health conscious,” James Prince said. “The menu itself won’t be extensive—it’ll be really great salads, a couple of main dishes, and definitely more health-conscious options.”
In the center of the 12,000-square-foot food hall there will be a beer and wine stall, which will serve a variety of local beers and wines. There will also be a 1,500-square-foot arcade for kids, as well as ample, fenced-in outdoor space with at least one playscape. In addition, there will be 193 parking stalls—much more than the required 111.
“We will operate the beer and wine stall, as well as the building itself, but it’ll be important for each vendor to bring their own flair and find their own way and adjust to the community of Liberty Hill,” James Prince said. “We didn’t shoot for big chain vendors, because it’s important to us that the people we do business with can really become part of our family.”
Craig Cohen, president of Moonie’s Burger House, said bringing Moonie’s to Liberty Hill is a good opportunity because the growth north of Austin is “obvious.”
“It seems to be going right up the [Highway] 183 corridor, and the growth in the Liberty Hill area specifically is so good,” he said.
Cohen added that he also likes the food hall concept the Princes have come up with.
“You don’t see that too often,” he said. “It’s unique and I like it because in a place like Liberty Hill with limited food options, you can have one main centralized location that provides different meals at different places.”
Currently, there are three Moonie’s in the greater Austin area. Cohen said in addition to the Liberty Hill location, he is also looking to open a Marble Falls location. He plans on keeping the Moonie’s menu in Liberty Hill about the same as the other locations.
“We may have a couple of specialty items and burgers, but we won’t adjust our menu too much,” he said. “We have a lot of customers at our Cedar Park location that come down from Liberty Hill, so it’ll be nice for them to have something closer to home.”
The Princes purchased the 4.5-acre parcel for Main Street Social in 2017 and the groundbreaking took place in January 2019. Now the Princes are about 30 days away from pouring a foundation, and then they’ll begin on the super steel structure.
“Our goal is to open by Fourth of July 2020,” James Prince said. “We’ve had to be very conservative and we want to make sure we’re protecting our vendors. Putting our assets back into the community is vital, but it’s also a big risk for us. We have our entire life savings in this. We get a lot of flak about why we aren’t open yet, but these things take time. This entire project has been really well thought out.”
The Princes plan to turn the vendor spaces over to their tenants in the early part of 2020, so they can each make their areas their own.
“Our focus for this whole thing is ‘phones down, fun up,’” Prince said. “This place will really be about reconnecting with family and friends and being more social. We want everybody to come here and just feel at home.”
Eventually, when the Princes are ready for phase two of Main Street Social, they plan on building a 6,000-square-foot greenhouse where they can house a community garden and provide gardening classes and other opportunities for everyone from school children to adults.
“We’re just a small family that has lived here in Liberty Hill for 13 years and we wanted to do something for the community,” Tambra Prince said. “A lot of people think Main Street Social is a big corporation, but we’re not. We want the community to support us—we want to be part of the fabric of the community.”
Main Street Social is located at 1750 Loop 332 and plans to be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.mainstreetsocial.com.