David Roberts said he never saw himself as a restaurant owner but stumbled into the business when he befriended Kevin Stuart, the former owner of Stillhouse Wine Room in Killeen.
Inspired by the Stillhouse concept of a laid-back and welcoming bistro, Roberts bought the business and relocated it to Georgetown, bringing Stuart along as manager. Shade Tree Wine Bistro opened in May on Austin Avenue just north of downtown Georgetown and the San Gabriel River.
“Whether you know nothing about wine or you know something about wine, you will feel comfortable here,” Roberts said.
Shade Tree offers lunch and dinner daily with a menu of charcuterie boards, paninis and flatbreads. On Sundays, the bistro serves a champagne brunch.
The bistro offers 130 different wines—40 of which can be purchased by the glass—and 10 craft beers on tap as well as bottled beer. Roberts said he tries to fill his menu with a range of options with wine from $7 a glass up to $394 a bottle. Shade Tree also runs a wine club in which members can receive up to 15 bottles of wine of their choice per year.
Roberts, who co-owns the restaurant with his sister, Kimberly O’Brien-Silke, said the restaurant is a second job for both of them. Roberts spent 21 years in the Navy before retiring in 2005 and joining a military-contracted company that builds unmanned aircraft. He said the job takes him overseas for half of the year. During that time, O’Brien-Silke—whose other job is based in Fort Hood—runs Shade Tree.
“We have other jobs but do this for fun,” Roberts said. “It’s a labor of love.”
Roberts said he is not a wine connoisseur but a wine enthusiast, and he wanted to share the interest with others.
“I always tell people there’s the food; there’s the wine; there’s the atmosphere, and there’s the people,” Roberts said. “When you put them all together, it’s a different dimension.”
Shade Tree Wine Bistro
103 N. Austin Ave., Georgetown
Hours: Sun.-Mon. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Tue.-Wed. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thu.-Fri. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.