Visitors to Republic Square Park won’t have to worry about packing their own picnics soon, as the owners of Salt & Time announced today that they will open Salt & Time Cafe in the new building constructed at Republic Square park. The new venture was made in partnership with the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation non-profit, which will benefit from the rent paid by the park’s new tenant.

The new location of the popular deli and butcher shop in East Austin will serve from morning to night. The menu at Salt & Time Cafe will feature five to ten pre-wrapped and made-to-order sandwiches using meats cured and cooked at Salt & Time, hearty salads and bowls, according to Salt & Time co-owner Ben Runkle. In addition to breakfast and lunch food service, the cafe will also serve beer and wine.

Runkle says it was important that Salt & Time expand their offerings in a thoughtful way and is excited about the community aspect of serving the downtown area and visitors who come to the park for about 100 programmed events a year.

“I’ve been looking for things that speak to me on a high level,” Runkle said. “The idea of a public space is hard to find. There aren’t a lot of opportunities to do that. It’s exciting. I like that engagement level. It’s beyond just a transactional relationship with your customers. It’s about being an important piece of the community.”

Downtown Austin Alliance CEO and president Dewitt Peart is equally excited about the park’s new tenant and the benefits it will bring to the parks visitors, of which there were 135,000 last year for events.

“We’re blazing a little bit of a trail here,” Peart said about having a food and beverage operation in a city park.

Salt & Time Cafe at Republic Square Park is slated to open sometime between late summer and early fall.

Editor's note: This post has been updated with new information about when the Salt & Time Cafe is slated to open.

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