Big Top Candy Shop: Where Steampunk design meets a Serious Sweet Tooth
published on April 11, 2012
At Big Top, it’s easy for customers to forget not only their age, but also the era. A South Austin favorite, the "steampunk" designed soda shop and candy store is decorated with memorabilia reminiscent of a circus revival in a Victorian drugstore. Big Top is coming up on its 5th year in Austin, and its success lies in its outstanding customer service, curious drink selection, and well-stocked shelves of hard to find vintage candies.
Central Austin native Brandon Hodge opened Big Top after years of planning. Hodge also owns Monkey See, Monkey Do, a popular toy store similarly located on South Congress Avenue. As a steampunk enthusiast and vintage oddities collector, Hodge wanted to create a store that would showcase his talent for decor and fulfill a gap in Austin’s business scene: a candy store.
Now, Big Top has been featured in countless magazines and on the Travel Channel and Food Network. In addition to carrying rare candies such as Cherry Mash, Zotz, and Necco Wafers, Big Top has a fully functional soda fountain that specializes in cherry phosphates and egg cream sodas. The Food Network was especially interested in Big Top’s specialty: artisan chocolate covered bacon, made in-house daily. Plus, 12 rotating flavors of Blue Bell ice cream make any drink or dessert Texas friendly.
Big Top’s curious interior makes it a popular party rental venue. Depending on party size and hours, Hodge will negotiate a price unique to a customer’s needs. It also has been a host to photo shoots for graduations, engagements, and artists’ portraits. Call ahead for hours and availability, though. The sign on Big Top’s door just reads: "Open Til We Close."
This unique candy store is one of the many small businesses that add to Austin’s eclectic vibrancy. If you have started an Austin home search, add it to your list of places to visit.
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