City Post Chophouse, at the corner of East 8th Street and South Church Street, opened in 2021, offering a wide variety of steaks and seafood. Before then, it spent almost 60 years serving as the Georgetown Post Office and another 28 years as city hall.
“It’s always been this public building—federal and then city,” owner Kevin Cummins said. “We wanted to honor that legacy, so that’s where the name came from.”
The post office was built in 1931 during the Great Depression and Prohibition. Opening a year later, it took up the space previously occupied by the Snyder and Bryson livery stable, where people could bring horses to be kept and fed. In 1990, the city of Georgetown took over the property, and it served as city hall until 2018.
The city put the building up for sale through a request for proposal process in 2019, so Cummins went to take a tour during an open house. He immediately noticed its potential.
“We wandered through the building, and there was just this realization that this could be something great,” he said. “This was not, ‘I need to do something great with it.’”
Cummins’ parents owned restaurants in Austin while he was growing up. After bussing and waiting tables in college, he went on to have a career in the tech industry. He was convinced he would never return to the hospitality industry, but his idea for the downtown building stuck, and his conversations about what would be done with the site continued.
“You know that scene in the movie when somebody asks for a volunteer and everybody steps back except for you? That was me,” he said.
So he bought the building, and renovations were quickly underway until the COVID-19 pandemic shut down business nationwide. Supply chain interruptions, the cost of construction materials and economic uncertainty caused some hesitancy, though, in addition to the effort it took to renovate a building from the 1930s.
“It turns out nobody has actually hung a vent hood for a live-fire grill in an old post office before, at least not around here,” he said. “It’s a journey of discovery, but you’re sort of prepared for that. You just figure it out as you go.”
Today, customers who walk through the doors at City Post may notice signs of the building’s past, including the old post office boxes situated next to the host stand. The hardwood floors are configured from the original maple wood panels, and the doors retain their 1930s characteristics.
“These downtown buildings need a new lease on life,” Cummins said. “They can’t be the building that they were 100 years ago, so they have to have a new life. What that new life looks like is a great question. For us, it’s being very respectful to the building’s past lives.”
Cummins has tried to put the same level of investment into the food and service as he has the building. In 2021, chef Adrian Corkill joined City Post with 30 years of experience in high-end dining, most recently as chef proprietor of III Forks Steakhouse in Chicago. The menu, consisting of items such as lobster rolls, oysters, wagyu burgers and a 22-ounce bone-in ribeye, was the result of Corkill and Cummins’ combined efforts.
“Steak and seafood—there’s no rocket science there,” Cummins said.
The menu is not finished. Cummins wants to add an oyster po’boy, lobster tails and a tomahawk steak the size of a “Brontosaurus bone.” The chef, meanwhile, has ideas of his own as Corkill said the steakhouse’s theme and design will serve as the perfect setting to exceed expectations.
“In Dallas, they’re all the same,” Corkill said. “They’re all just a nice, big steakhouse—dark wood, leather furniture. I saw this building, and I immediately started seeing the potential. I think it elevates what this city needed and what it wanted.”
More than a steakhouse
City Post Chophouse owner Kevin Cummins and chef Adrian Corkill provide the Georgetown community a place to have a steak dinner as well as a space for people to meet and grab quality cuts to cook at home. The business has plans to expand its scope even further to include an outdoor courtyard and speakeasy on the basement floor.
Ada Talbot Hall/Mail room
Named after Georgetown’s first female postmaster, Ada Talbot Hall has enough room for gatherings outside of its dining area. The upstairs room includes space for 80 seats, or 110 people for a cocktail party. The Mail Room, meanwhile, offers people a more intimate setting, providing space for parties of six to 12.
City Post customers will soon notice a market area in the corner of the restaurant, selling a variety of items for people to take home either after their meal or in a grab-and-go fashion, including cheeses, wines, seasonings, vegetables, sauces and more.
The City Post Butcher Shop has a slate of specialty cuts for grilling aficionados looking to prepare their meals themselves. Some items that might be found in the shop include 22-ounce bone-in ribeyes, 8-ounce culotte steaks, wagyu sausages, KC strip steaks, wagyu burger paddies and tomahawk pork chops.