Welcome, Damian! Our Fearless New Kitchen Team Leader

We are beyond excited to announce our new Kitchen Team Leader, Damian Lawrence. Although Damian has been with Black Star for over a year now, he has recently stepped into a leadership role to much acclaim from patrons and co-workers alike.

Born and raised in the Carolinas, Chef Damian has an 18 year long history in the service industry. From fine dining to food truck experience, his culinary journey has led to a strong focus on seafood, developing amazing vegan recipes, all while adding little bit of sweet and spice to all of his dishes. His past 8 years in Austin has inspired a strong love for Texas style cooking, while the local community has allowed for many collaborations with chefs and friends alike.

Buy a beer shot and raise a glass to this guy the next time you see him through the window!

Black Star Co-op Elections: Call for Candidates!

Every fall Black Star Co-op Member-Owners vote for Board of Director positions.  Directors review and craft policies and principles, represent the interests of all Member-Owners, and collaborate with the Workersʼ Assembly.  Take your love of Black Star Co-op to the next level by running for the Board.  To run for the Board, you must: Be a fully invested Member-Owner;

If you have not yet paid your balance, you can do so online or at the Co-op.

Attend at least one Black Star Board Meeting within the last year;

Attend a Candidate Orientation Session at Black Star (roughly a 30 minute conversation)

Friday, July 19th from 5 to 7pm.

Other days will be available starting in August (TBD, will be in August Newsletter)

Other days and times are available, contact ldc@blackstar.coop

Submit your Declaration of Candidacy form.

Download the Election Packet here. It contains information about the election, important dates, candidate questions for the website, and the Declaration of Candidacy form.  All forms must be submitted no later than September 27th, 2019 by 11:59pm.

Interested, but have questions before you decide to run? Ready to run, but want more information about how to start the process?  Your first step is contacting the Leadership Development Committee through email: ldc@blackstar.coop.

Good Work Austin Fundraiser

If you’ve been keeping up with our Good Work Austin (GWA) communications for the past year or so, you already know what GWA is: A socially responsible community of local businesses in Austin, Texas invested in creating good jobs for all workers, ensuring a quality workplace, and supporting and amplifying the voices of like-minded businesses. Born of our communal efforts in supporting the Paid Sick Leave ordinance, GWA leadership has taken the past year to become a legitimate, community oriented 501c3 nonprofit organization, and we’re almost there. Now we just need a little help from our friends and community members! Our likeminded business associates (aka best besties) at L’Oca d’Oro are hosting a 3rd Birthday Party on Thursday, June 27th benefitting (you guessed it) Good Work Austin. While you can purchase tickets here, we are also seeking donations for items to be auctioned at the fundraiser, so feel free to reach out to me at jodim@blackstar.coop if you got the goods!

But can we quickly talk about how fun this event is sure to be? In addition to a night of open bar that you can actually feel good about, the lineup of featured local chefs is a food force to be reckoned with. Included are Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie, Sarah Heard and Nathaniel Lemley of Foreign and Domestic, Fermin Nunez of Suerte, Abby Loven of L’oven Bread, and Mari Soto of Sweet Ritual. Enough said. See ya there.

Parking Update

Hello Member-Owners! If you have been to Black Star in the last year or so, you may have noticed two parking gate kiosks installed at each entrance of our parking garage. These systems were purchased by our property management in hopes of alleviating some of our parking woes but were never activated. A couple of weeks ago we were informed that they intend to activate these gates and start charging for access to the garage in the very near future (maybe the next week or two?). As soon as the gates are activated, the pay structure for parking in the garage will look like this:

0 – 2 Hours Free

2 – 4 Hours $5.00

4 – 8 Hours $10.00

8 – 10 Hours $15.00

10 – 24 Hours $20.00

However, we will have parking validation for up to 5 hours, so be sure to ask someone at the registers for your ticket when you park in the garage. 

Again, we do not know when this will be in full effect (but it should be soon), so keep an eye out for a social media post letting everyone know! 

Cheers, 

Black Star Untappd

Hey folks! If you are a craft beer drinker (I presume you are??!!) and do not know about Untappd, let me give you a quick run down of this super cool beer drinking app. Untappd lets you find and rate beers that you may be drinking at a bar, brewery, or even at home. You can earn “Badges” for many different accomplishments such as visiting a certain number of locations or having sampled over 300 hazy IPAs! All in all it’s a pretty cool way to track the beers you’ve had and have a record of what you thought about them. This platform is also quite useful for breweries/retailers as it offers insight into which beers consumers are drinking and liking/disliking. This month we opted in to Untappd’s “Verified Venue” plan which allows us to control and update the Black Star Co-op Venue page. With this subscription we are able to add and subtract beers from our menus in real time while directly notifying those who subscribe to our venue. This is where you come in. If you currently use Untappd, please follow/subscribe to our page and select the option (if this interests you) to see notifications from us. With this function you will be updated directly on your phone every time we make a change to our beer menu, letting you know exactly when we put something new on draft. If you do not currently use Untappd, I highly recommend checking it out, even if you choose not to subscribe to our notifications. Seeing what our customers like and dislike based on their feedback is a large driver in what we brew in the future, so weather it is on the app or just in an email, we love hearing from y’all about what we could do better for you. I hope this is helpful for some of you beer nerds out there!

Wine in a Beer World

As brewpubs and taprooms become more integrated into our social fabric, we find ourselves needing options as diverse as our community. Black Star has always strove to cater to all, whether you suffer a gluten intolerance, don’t care for the meats, or simply just don’t feel like drinking beer, WE GOT YOU. A well-curated wine list lends itself perfectly to this scenario, and we make careful selections with a local company to bring y’all the highest quality juice at the best price. One of the coolest, most sustainable innovations of recent years has been wine on tap. A single keg of wine saves anywhere from 30-40 glass bottles from use, and keeps the product from ever seeing the light of day, providing the freshest pour, every time. At Black Star, you can find an Italian prosecco and an old-world style rose on guest taps 1 & 2, perfect for mimosas and patio-pounding. Our current rose on tap pairs amazingly with the spiciness of the shrimp and grits, and our prosecco is divine with chips. Both are also available in a 500mL carafe for sharing (or not). Additionally, most of our offerings are organically or sustainably farmed, being from European regions that have generations of wine-growing practice under their belts. European appellations don’t force growers to label organic, but do have to list added sulfites. Many houses even use cooperative practices to bottle and label in post-production. Bring your friends and family in to try some of our wines with a cheese plate or burger. Look for halfprice bottle night and curated pairings coming on Wednesdays in the next couple weeks!

Message from the Board of Directors

Marcus reporting in with an update from your Board of Directors. Since the elections closed late last year, we’ve had a few changes to the Board that you, as a member and owner of this co-op, should know about.


Some sad news first. Beth Beutel, Black Star board president 2016 – 2018, stepped down and resigned from the Board, effective March 1st. The Board wants to recognize Beth and express our gratitude for her years of service.  We wish her all the best with her new promotion at work.  Her absence will be felt on the Board for a long time. 

A big change like this precipitated a few other changes to the Board as well. Marcus was nominated and voted Board President; Dacia was nominated and voted as Board Secretary. These are the two official officer roles on the Black Star board.  Don’t worry, Marcus’ Extravaganza hosting duties are not going to be impacted, and the Outreach Committee should have a date for the next extravaganza soon.

Going back to the October elections. The members elected two new directors at the end of 2018: Roger Corrales and Graham Green.  At the time, this gave us an eight-person board. A fully seated board comprises 9 directors.  So we, the Board, took action and appointed Charlotte Harper to a one-year term to fill the remaining vacancy. You can get to know these new directors at the Members’ Assembly meeting on April 28th.  Also, please check out the Board of Directors page on the website for more detailed director information.

With Beth leaving in March, we are now back down to eight directors.  So, if you have any interest in running for the Board or working with the Board in some capacity, please let Greg Cumpton, our Leadership Development Committee Chairperson, know.  

We’ll have a full report from the WA during the Spring meeting on April 28th; in the meantime, the short answer is that the co-op is heading in the right direction.  We need you, fellow co-owners of this brewpub to help. The biggest contribution is to come enjoy a pint and a snack at the co-op.  Also, plan to stop by during one of our awesome events.  However, if you are unable to make the trip up to the brewpub, you can still help.  Be an advocate for co-ops, wear your Black Star hat when the sun comes out, and wear your Black Star hoodie when the sun goes down.  We can all contribute in our own way. It’s member involvement that makes a co-op a co-op and not just another generic brewpub. 

See you at the Members’ Assembly Meeting on Sunday, April 28th!

Jodi Goes to Washington

Black Star Co-op has long been an advocate for fair wages and better working conditions in the restaurant industry. As a member of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, I had the privilege of heading to Washington D.C. last month to speak to members of Congress about eliminating the sub-minimum wage (just $2.13 / hr in Texas), and moving to One Fair Wage for all. With overwhelming support from representatives Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Brenda Lawrence among others, restaurant owners and workers from across the country were able to amplify their voices and hearts through the democratic process. Although the South often felt underrepresented with just Black Star Co-op and L’Oca d’Oro in attendance, the mood was very uplifting and hopeful as we met with other likeminded businesses from all different areas, shared our stories, our struggles, and our unrelenting determination to make a positive impact on the 13 million restaurant workers in America. Onward and upward!

Blue Index Update


On Wednesday, February 20th we will be hosting a fun meeting here at the Co-op with our friends from Blue Index. Kevin will be out to chat about the project and his findings as well as have some interesting water BINGO to play for folks who want to hang out and learn more about this awesome project. On top of that, we will be briefly talking about our collaboration “Cause Beer” with Blue Index where we intend to brew a batch with 100% water pulled from Jacobs Well in Wimberly, TX. 


For those who are not familiar with Blue Index, here is an overview:


Blue Index Description 


Come on out and learn a bit about water, drink some beer, and chat with some friendly folks!