If you think of Houston and immediately envision urban sprawl, you’re not alone. It’s true, says Ellen Daehnick, Houston transplant and owner of Helliemae’s caramels. “But did you know there’s also fantastic food? There’s an openness to the city…and that’s reflected in the food,” she says. While living in Houston, one of her mainstays was going to Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys and picking up butcher paper–wrapped sandwiches held together by great bread and garnished with the distinctly southern, spicy-sweet chow chow.

That’s the experience Daehnick hopes to bring to Wheat Ridge when she opens Post Oak Hall this summer. The take-away eatery, which sits next door to her caramel factory, will have a small selection of Houston-style po’ boys, icebox desserts (think mini versions of Helliemae’s legendary salted caramel banana pudding), kolaches, and coffee drinks.

To begin with, Post Oak Hall will only be open on Saturdays. Hours will evolve as Daehnick gets a sense of customer traction.

The name Post Oak Hall refers to the tree that in Texas is revered for its strong wood (often used for fence posts) and fine smoking qualities (pit master Aaron Franklin of Austin’s Franklin Barbecue swears by it). The space, which was originally a service station, is getting a facelift courtesy of Daehnick’s husband, Chris. The hope is that once he’s finished, the pressed tin ceiling (with lone stars, of course), shiplap paneling on the walls, and a window into Helliemae’s candy making room will feel “homey and familiar, even if you haven’t been to Texas,” Daehnick says.

6195 W. 44th Ave., Wheat Ridge, 303-834-7048

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.