Former Texas Tech student and Lubbock native, Carson McCabe, found success in Lubbock pursuing his dream to open a restaurant.
In September his dream came true when he opened The Choc’late Mousse Pie Bar.
McCabe said he graduated from Coronado High School in 2001 and stayed at Tech for two years before realizing his major in political science would not fulfill his creative desires.
“I told my parents that I would go out and do everything I could to make money to save up to open some kind of restaurant,” he said, “and at the time I never had any idea of what kind of restaurant I wanted it to be.”
McCabe said he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support of his family. The idea for the pie bar came from McCabe’s father, he said, who started his own worldwide corporation from nothing and was very supportive of McCabe opening his own restaurant.
“My dad and I were talking one day and he said, ‘Well if you want to do a restaurant, why don’t you do pies, there hasn’t been a good place for pies in Lubbock in forever,’ that he could remember,” McCabe said, “They kind of pushed me into it, but in a good way. It’s something I wanted to do and they backed me 100 percent.”
Prior to opening The Choc’late Mousse Pie Bar, McCabe said, he waited tables and managed a Chili’s in Dallas to save up some money and work out the kinks of what the pie bar was really going to be and look like. McCabe wanted a bar atmosphere but without the alcohol, so with a clear vision in mind and the support of his family, McCabe said, he came back to Lubbock.
“I grew up in Lubbock and Lubbock is like a magnet, it always brings you back — but for good reasons,” McCabe said, “I grew up here and I was excited to leave and experience something different and I realized that in a big city everyone’s the same, but in a smaller city, like Lubbock, you can stand out and you can do something really neat that will benefit a place that has so much cool stuff happening that people don’t understand until you’re gone.”
McCabe came up with the idea for the name of the pie bar after being in the Dallas and Austin areas. He realized a lot of popular, trendy places included a funny animal in the title, so mousse was the perfect wordplay fit with the moose mascot of the restaurant, McCabe said.
“Whether you call it The Pie Bar or The Choc’late Mousse, as long as people keep coming in, they can call it whatever they want,” McCabe said.
After studying for finals at The Pie Bar, Tech student Alexandra Gardner was hooked.
“I’ve worked here for about three weeks and I love the atmosphere, the 1940s music they play is my favorite. From the decorations to the pie, even the coffee is so good,” Gardner said.
The Choc’late Mousse Pie Bar features about 40 pie recipes, McCabe said, 60-70 percent of which are recipes from his grandmother.
Owning the pie bar has been a fun learning experience, he said, and he has learned the ins and outs of making pies and has experimented with a few recipes of his own.
“That’s been the fun thing that I didn’t really expect,” he said. “I just figured I’d come in and make all of my grandmothers pies but then I have people who come in and say, ‘Hey, try this or that.’ It’s just fun stuff like that, in my spare time I like to think of weird combinations to sample.”
McCabe said, he plans to expand his business to the southwest side of Lubbock and eventually open franchises in other cities. McCabe said he also plans to expand the menu by including hot pies.
“I think another pie bar on the south side of town would do very well, I think it would fit in really well,” said first-time customer and Tech graduate student Ansen Pond.