Step back in time at Callahan's General Store
A friend recently recommended that I stop by Callahan's General Store store for a straw hat at a decent price.
- Yes, I'm late to the party, but I'm passing along this Austin gem to those of you who missed it, too.
Why it matters: Callahan's, which opened in 1978, is a Central Texas staple and touts itself as Austin's only true general store.
What they're saying: Charley Wilson, the store's CEO and general manager, told Axios a lot has changed since almost 45 years ago, when Central Texas farmers would come to Callahan's to pick up supplies. Before that, the site was home to a cattle auction barn, feed mill and hardware store.
- "It doesn't seem like 45 years is a long time, but when you start talking about three to four generations of people coming into our store, doing business with us, it is a good, long time," Wilson said.
- Wilson's grandparents Earl and Lucy Callahan founded the store, and three generations of the family have managed it.
- Customers regularly introduce themselves to Wilson to tell him how important the general store has been to their family.
Go when: You need, well, anything. The store sells kitchen items, gifts, snacks, pet food, boots and live animals, including chicks, guineas, ducks and turkeys.
- Of note: Wilson estimates that they sell "tens of thousands" of baby chicks every year, and sales ramped up as backyard chickens became popular amid the pandemic.
- I didn't buy the straw hat, but I picked up a grapefruit knife, which I haven't seen since my childhood, when I would kindly ask my parents to "pass the gnife."
- I also snagged a mug, a cheesecloth and a fishing hat — all for $40.
Address: 501 S. U.S. 183
Hours: 10am-6pm Monday through Saturday
Pro tip: Check their Facebook page to see when you can catch live music in the store.
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