The Cowbird survives the opening in the midst of a pandemic with links to the community


Le Vacher’s most popular appetizer are dessert-type fried dumplings with Emmenthal cheese, roasted garlic aioli and pickled shallot. (Community impact journal / Maggie Quinlan)

Lauren Weeks, Marketing Manager for Le Vacher, calls the restaurant her brother’s baby. His brother, Jacob Euler, dreamed of opening a restaurant offering high quality French cuisine in a relaxed, country atmosphere about five years before Le Vacher opened in Dripping Springs in August 2020.

“You’re going to feel celebrated whether you come to celebrate or not,” Weeks said.

The restaurant with mid-century modern decor serves premium wines and spirits as well as southern and French dishes made with mostly local ingredients.

Euler is the former executive pastry chef of celebrity French chef Joel Robuchon’s restaurant at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Co-owner Eric Weeks, who is Lauren’s husband, had about a decade of experience in the restaurant industry when the couple embarked on the creation of Le Vacher. Weeks has worked most of her career as a dietitian, coordinating with food service at hospitals around Austin. She imagined that the restaurant could be more than a place for great food and rather a full sensory experience.

She creates this experience in the private dining room upstairs where she manages the events. Despite the family’s combined catering experience, their young business might have failed in its early days, Eric said. Le Vacher was scheduled to open in February 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic entered public awareness and would soon close restaurants across the country. Construction stopped that winter. Delays in receiving the devices delayed opening for weeks, then weeks more until the family place could open in August.

“It was a blessing in disguise,” Eric said. “What is most important is the community and how quickly they have supported us. They wanted us to be successful even when we opened in the middle of a pandemic. “

From the start, customers have become regulars, salespeople are close allies, and staff are extended family, Weeks said.

“It’s not just by blood or by marriage; our staff are also family now, ”she said. “They’ve been with us since day one through it all.”

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