What's New in the Village

Popular local establishment renovates its flagship restaurant after tragic accident

By Madison Wallace
On November 23, 2020

Photo by Madison Wallace:
Peasant Village set to reopen in early December after a tragic accident last year.

Restorations and upgrades on Nov. 22 are almost complete exactly one year after a vehicle crashed into one of San Angelo’s most renowned restaurants.

On Nov. 22, 2019 at 1:35 a.m., a drunk driver crashed into the front of Peasant Village, located on 23 S Park St. 

Since that day, the restaurant has been shut down, however owner and head chef Jason Helfer, also known as “Chef Jason,” said in early December, Peasant Village plans to reopen its doors and serve the people of San Angelo once again.

Helfer spoke about trying to reopen against the challenges of COVID-19 and also gave insight to the changes the restaurant will reopen with. 

“It's been easy and difficult,” Helfer said when asked about the challenges of opening amidst a global pandemic. “The easy part is finding the people for the special jobs that need to be done at the right time.” 

He later describes the difficulty truly came when trying to get all the materials to reopen. The shutdowns of plants due to hurricanes and COVID-19 caused a great delay in the process of reopening Peasant Village. Helfer said despite the challenge, “just being patient and keeping it positive” is the main key to getting through this past year. 

Helfer described an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and says he is “humbled by this whole experience.” 

So many people from the community have reached out and shown their support to the workers of Peasant Village saying they can’t wait for its return. The restaurant has been in San Angelo since April 5, 1995, and people in the community have said they definitely felt its absence during this past year. 

Since the closure of the Peasant Village restaurant, the only other way to get some of Helfer’s food is from the separate PV Deli location located off Sunset Drive. Helfer said it has been awesome having this second location and it is doing quite well. 

All the staff will be new upon the reopening, Helfer explained. Due to the long closure of the restaurant, the old staff had to find new jobs. However, Hefler views this as a positive because it creates an opportunity to bring “new energy” into the restaurant whilst creating a “different style of eatery.” The restaurant will reopen with a “1920s prohibition feel, the food will still be the same as it was- spectacular,” Helfer said. “it will just be new memories and a different future.” 

According to Peasant Village staff, one of the biggest changes that Peasant Village will be reopening with is a more casual feel. Helfer wants the public to know his restaurant will no longer be a “anniversary and once a year” type of restaurant. He said it should be for anyone and everyone, every single day.

“I don’t cut corners,” Chef Jason said when discussing how important the quality of food is. “I won’t cut corners. Everybody else can, but I won’t. The public deserves to get a proper meal for the price they’re paying for it.”

 Chef Jason also urges people to support local establishments instead of always dining at chain restaurants because “80% of the San Angelo business community are small business owners- don't forget the small mom and pop shops, we’re the ones who hire people.” 

Despite the overwhelming odds of reopening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the end of 2020 is looking to add a little brightness to an otherwise dull year. Peasant Village plans to reopen its doors to an eager public in early December.

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