“We wanted a cafe that not only served good, healthy food and great quality coffee, but that was also a place for people to gather,” Metcalf said.
Elle’s Cafe is named for Metcalf’s oldest daughter. It opened this April as part of Alive + Well, the Bee Cave wellness center that offers an apothecary, yoga, meditation, massage, acupuncture, a float tank and more. According to Metcalf, it is the wellness center that helps inform Elle’s overarching themes.
Metcalf is a second-generation pharmacist and said the wellness component of medicine always resonated with him. He owned Hill Country Apothecary in Lakeway for about five years and said lifestyle change was the topic that came up the most among his customers.
“So we thought we could have the most impact doing more with that,” he said. “We wanted to offer [healthy food choices] as part of the center.”
The cafe is completely gluten-free, an aspect of Elle’s inspired by Metcalf’s wife, who has celiac disease. Whenever they would dine out at other establishments she would often have health issues despite choosing the gluten-free menu options.
“If there is gluten in the kitchen it can be cross-contaminating,” he said. “So we wanted to offer a place where people could have truly healthy food.”
Metcalf described the cafe as laid-back and open and said special attention was paid to the ambiance.
“Aesthetic matters,” he said. “There are a lot of windows, and good sunlight comes through. We play good music, and when we have good weather we open up the glass doors. Everybody seems to be happy when they’re here.”