Chez Zee V

One for the Neighborhood

Sharon Watkins - Chez Zee

When Chez Fred faced bankruptcy in 1988, It wasn’t to say they were without committed patronage. One regular, Sharon Watkins, who owned a marketing agency, was a grant commissioner of the Texas Commission of the Arts and generally active in the community, found in Chez Fred, a new mission she couldn’t turn away from. Fast forward 30 years and no longer new, but certainly improved Chez Zee is an iconic American-style bistro just west of Mopac off 2222.

After the purchase it was challenging to completely shift gears in business. “When it comes to owning and running a restaurant, the main challenge is figuring out how to make money and setting a concise and logistic budget. Being a business where perishable products are manufactured and sold on the same day, it is a highly time and product sensitive investment,” says Watkins. “As an owner, it involves managing everyday big and small tasks in addition to learning the economics of the restaurant business including pricing, vendors, and sale initiatives.”

Watkins’ art background is evident in surrounding gardens, warmly lit patio and in her support for local artists whose work is for sale on her walls. A true neighborhood destination, Chez Zee is a favorite for brunch and desserts for families as well as a popular dinner spot for anniversaries, graduations and other special occasions.

The neighborhood surrounding Chez Zee is enveloped in nature, but beyond that it’s made up mostly of one thing--homes. It’s a peaceful space--ideal for the many families who live nearby. Beyond her own four walls, Watkins also encourages visits to authentic Mexican cuisine at Fonda San Miguel as well as French-American restaurant, Epicerie. For over three decades she has been one for the neighborhood, and she encourages both visitors and residents to stop by and say “hi.”

Meals & Snacks | Northwest

Chez Zee American Bistro

5406 Balcones Dr, Austin, TX 78731 512-454-2666

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